ads do not devalue 9/11
a new mantra floating around the press that President
Bush shouldnt use images from the 9/11 attacks
in his campaign that somehow those events are
too sacred or painful for use with politics, and the
Bush campaign is playing dirty to use them.
Cheapshot campaign ads are nothing new in politics
the Democrats infamous TV ad a few years ago showing
a pickup driving away with a chain dangling from its
bumper might as well define the genre. The spoken message
with the ad was something like, Vote Democrat
or more churches will burn and more black people will
be senselessly murdered. The unspoken message
was even more sinister: Republicans are violent racists
who lynch blacks and burn churches. These fantastically
false spots marked a low point in recent American politics,
and the cooked-up outrage over President Bushs
current ads try to link the two.
Do George W. Bushs recent TV spots carry any of
this slander and venom? Not at all. The presidents
new ads serve as critical reminders to a forgetful public
that he leads the nation in war. I thank my lucky stars
that the war on terror is Bushs focus as president,
and insist that all of the wars aspects are legitimate
in a wide-reaching political contest like the presidential
The presidents detractors have spent volumes of
ink and air separating the 9/11 attacks and the Presidents
war on terror. The attempt to disassociate these events
from Bushs transforming presidency baffles me.
True, it is Bushs response to the September 11
terrorism that has defined his presidency but
to separate the executives response from the stimulus
that provoked it seems shifty to me. War with terrorists
began unanswered with the first Trade Tower bombing
and numerous others when Clinton was president. George
W. Bush didnt lead us into war, he awoke with
us at last to the grisly reality that war was upon us
whether or not we wanted it.
It looks to me like the only way to find dishonesty
in the portrayal of 9/11 in Bushs campaign ads
is to separate the war on terror from the terrorism
that started it. This self-imposed blindness is dangerous
and has no place in American foreign policy. Reckless
refusal to see our enemies for what they are is exactly
the weakness that made us vulnerable three Septembers
ago. The real dishonesty here is to put 9/11 out of
bounds when it is the issue that needs most to be addressed!
Vigilance in the war and strength at home remain the
primary issues at hand in the presidential election
(by more than 80 percent, in a March Gallop poll). John
Kerry and his fellow Democrats want desperately to find
senseless war and destructive foreign policy in the
Bush administration. They will bluster all year against
Bushs campaign ads, but their arguments betray
their views as distorted, and no amount of dishonesty
can cover that up.
The very best way we could dishonor the dead from September
11 would be to forget that their lives were snuffed
out by enemies of our freedom; such sad forgetfulness
would endanger our own freedom and our lives.
Hood is a junior music composition major from Fort Worth.