Five Things a Liberal Should Remember

5 things to remember going into this presidential election:

1) John Kerry may be a big jerk, but he isn’t George W. Bush.

There are significant differences between the two men. Imagine what the Supreme Court will look like if G.W. gets another four years. Skalia will die, and another Rhenquist will be propped up. Imagine how many more international treaties will be nullified, environmental laws reversed, and small countries attacked. Vote. And vote for John Kerry.

2) Although Bush is bad, that does not make Sadaam Hussein, the Taliban, or any other dictators or extremists good.

You don’t have to support people that blow up children with suicide bombs to disagree with the equally wrong actions of our government. They are all bad. Going into war with Iraq was wrong, but that does not mean that Sadaam Hussein was good. Saying that you support the Iraqi resistance is a really wrong thing to say, because they blow up innocent people every day. Not just our friends and family members in American uniforms sent there to fight.

3) Most presidential elections are decided by a very small minority of people; those who are not either decidedly republican or democrat.

The “swing voters”, who haven’t made up their mind are those who are courted by the major parties during election years. That’s why the republicans become “compassionate conservatives” and the democrats become republican-light every election. The only way they know how to win is to work the middle. But the number of people who don’t vote every year has become the largest group in the country. These people are decidedly young, or minorities, or poor people. If all of us who didn’t vote in the last election actually show up, we can do whatever we want with our political process. Hopefully this year that will mean tons of young kids get out to get rid of George W. Bush.

4) You should never make up your mind about something without actually learning about both sides.

Too many of us hate Bush, but cannot define any of his policy initiatives, or even an individual legislation he has pushed through since becoming president. If people ask you what you think of Bush, and your response is that he is an evil child of the devil who has never done anything good, no one will take you seriously. Watch Bill O’reilly. Hate it. But at least know what the people you disagree with are saying, otherwise you just become a one-sided fool. Like most people who will be voting for Bush and you call stupid.

5) We live in an amazingly left-wing town.

Burlington is like an oasis of peaceniks in the middle of a desert of people who are swayed by the idea of lowered taxes or a war on terror. So, although republicans may seem to be a weird group of overdressed nerds here at UVM, they are still a dominant force in the country. Be afraid. Half the voters in the country still plans to vote for Bush.