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Mike Bellah

Am I the Last Fan of President Bush?
March 2004

Am I the last fan of George W. Bush? It certainly seems so. If you listen to the nightly news, where Democrat leaders compete over who can say the most demeaning things about our President (a deserter, a liar), or you pay attention to the latest opinion polls where some have Bush losing to Kerry by over 10 percentage points, then someone like me begins to feel like the Bible’s Elijah: “I alone am left.” 

I don’t believe our President is a liar or a deserter. Last winter he did what any prudent and courageous leader would do—made a tough decision to protect his people based on the best information he had at the time. And the deserter charge shouldn’t be dignified with an answer. It tells one much more about the character of filmmaker Michael Moore, who brought the accusation, than it does about our President. Moore’s anti-gun documentary, “Bowling for Columbine,” should have received the Oscar for Best Propaganda of the Year.

Moore brings up another point. Last March Hollywood fawned over him at the Oscars. He, along with Alec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn, is a hero to these stars. Give me a break. These are the same people who before the war tried to protect the Iraqi people from impending American aggression, “aggression” which we now know liberated millions from a murderous dictator. 

 Am I alone in my outrage? How can these “stars” show their faces in public? Why do the American people not hold them accountable at the box office? And thinking of accountability, what about all those newscasters who also had it wrong? What about TV generals who called Afghanistan our new Vietnam and told us daily why our attacks were not succeeding: “Not enough boots on the ground.” That, of course, was right before the Afghani Northern Alliance, aided by American Special Forces and precision Allied air power, brought the conflict to a speedy and overwhelming victory.

Oops, I slipped up. Actually, we didn’t win in Afghanistan; did we? Forget about all those terrorists’ bases that were destroyed and the infrastructure that was dismantled, we still don’t have Osama. Just like we didn’t have Saddam, uh?

My outrage is mixed with frustration. I have friends who believe that we’ve already captured Osama and our President is waiting for a politically auspicious time to parade him before the media. Why this level of distrust, this cynicism, this hatred of this President? 

I don’t know. My friends are good people. I have to believe that they are sincere in their opposition. Most seem to have a particular axe to grind. They don’t like the President’s tax cuts for the “rich.” They don’t like his record on the environment. They don’t agree with his prescription drug bill, or the No Child Left Behind initiative, or the Patriot Act, or the multibillion dollar budget. I could answer each of these charges (I’m not rich, and I’m enjoying my tax cut), but I have a greater case to make.

This election is about the war on terrorism. It’s about 9/11 and the American response. No issue compares with this one. Forget education or the environment; if WMD’s are released on our homeland, nothing else will matter. And George W. Bush is the only candidate who has demonstrated a toughness on terrorism. That’s why Democrats like former New York Mayor Ed Koch are supporting him in the upcoming election. While Koch does not agree with the President on a single domestic issue, he writes, “President Bush has earned my vote because he has shown the resolve and courage necessary to wage the war against terrorism.” 

Koch is not alone among Democrats. In January the “New York Times” reported that while 54% of Democrats opposed the war in Iraq, 39% supported it, and 52% support Bush’s pre-emptive war doctrine. Of course Republicans are even more supportive (85% and 82% on the same issues). These are hopeful signs; in fact they may signal a trend underreported by the news media. 

If you know your Bible, you know that Elijah really was not alone, and I’m guessing I’m not either. People like me just haven’t been heard from yet. We’ll fix that in November.
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