Monday, May 07, 2007

Don't Change Horses in Mid-stream

Such was the Abraham Lincoln slogan often heard during the 2004 Presidential campaign. It referred to, in fact stole verbatim from, Lincoln's official campaign slogan during his run for his second term smack dab in the middle of the Civil War.

As in, when in war, don't change the commander in chief.

Except for in this war (Iraq), it might have been better to change horses. Or at least jockeys.

It frequently made me mad when friends, for whom I have lots of respect, would use this changing of horses reference when they decided they would vote for Bush (as opposed to Kerry) even though many of them thought Bush had done a terrible job in his first term.

Don't change horses in mid-stream.

To take this illogical thinking a little closer to an extreme, or limit, considering that presidents are limited to two terms, what shall we do in 2008? According to all accounts, and most importantly President Bush's account, we'll be in Iraq in 2008, not to mention 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, etc. (to use another animal metaphor, "Until the cows come home").

For those who decided NOT to change horses in mid-stream, it seems like they're in an inextricable place now, for they have only one option, if they really meant what they said in 2004:

Amend the Constitution so that presidents can be elected to third, fourth, and fifth terms (or more, until the war they started is over).

But I haven't seen any calls for such an amendment! Why not, you may ask? Is it that George Bush has been such a God-awful president (pun intended) that NOBODY, but NOBODY, wants him to have a chance of winning a third term? Or is it that people really are lazy and didn't want to have to ponder the benefits and drawbacks of Bush and Kerry (both candidates had lots of both)?

I believe it was the latter. It was too easy for people to say, "Don't change horses in mid-stream." Easier than, say, weighing the relative merits of John Kerry versus George Bush.

It may have also been a case of "Bush, you broke it. Now you fix it." But that was putting way too much confidence in somebody who quite literally has never fixed anything (a sink, a car, a computer, an oil company, a baseball team, or a country).

I'm severely disappointed that I voted for Bush the first time around. I am deeply saddened that I cannot take it back.

But I am even more disappointed in my fellow Americans who voted for Bush the second time around. I saw how terrible he was in his first term; did others need a second term to confirm?

I suppose they did. However, there is a small consolation: In 2008, vote for the best candidate. Don't vote for a guy because he got us into a war. And don't vote for a guy who merely belongs to the same political party. It's too easy, it squanders your vote, and it's the wrong thing to do.

Pay close attention to the front-runners in both parties. Look at their voting records. Look at their life history. What have they done? What kind of person is he? Do you trust her?

I cannot vote this time around for anyone who still supports this war. While I will not say that I'd advocate a quick pullout of Iraq, I can say that anybody who wants to throw MORE lives down the proverbial well will never get my vote. That's you, John McCain.

If history teaches us anything, it's that if we don't learn from it, we are doomed to repeat it. Learn something. Please.