TCU Daily Skiff Wednesday, April 7, 2004
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Kerry’s opinions, actions contradictory

Ashley Earnest

Although people may see primaries or elections as very minute or unimportant events, they actually carry much weight. The man who is elected president of the United States is the most powerful leader in the world, and his decisions affect the entire globe.

While it is common for politicians to change their minds, John Kerry has done so excessively as a Massachusetts senator. In 1995, Kerry showed his true colors when he was the only member in the United States Senate who proposed to cut intelligence funding by billions of dollars two years after the first World Trade Center bombing. According to Wayne Washington of the Boston Globe, Kerry proposed these cuts to eliminate wasteful intelligence spending. Kerry specified these cuts as part of “one senator’s common sense effort” and argued the proposed cuts were in our best interest because they consisted of pet projects that were outdated. However, I find it interesting that not one person followed his lead on this issue. Kerry either had difficult time explaining his logic to his fellow senators, or it simply did not make sense to cut intelligence funding at that time.

On Sept. 11, 2001, we were attacked in a way our country has never seen, by the same kind of terrorists who carried out the first attacks on the World Trade Center. We need reliable, accurate intelligence, and that will not happen with a president who has shown past interest in decreasing the intelligence budget.

Kerry explained why he was going to vote for the use of force against Saddam’s regime in Iraq with the following statement: “I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.” He, along with others, have given many excuses for his vote, but the bottom line is, he voted in favor of the war.

When the anti-war protests began and Howard Dean stepped onto the scene, Kerry realized he might lose votes if he did not start speaking out against the war. When he became the front-runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, he began to criticize the way the war is being carried out, and voted against financial support for the troops in the field.

On Oct. 8, 2002, speaking to the Senate Intelligence Committee, Kerry stated, “According to intelligence, Iraq has chemical and biological weapons.” Comments such as these are interesting when Kerry continually claims that Bush has misled the country about the WMDs. The truth is, all parties involved believed there to be a threat in Iraq. Congress used the same intelligence Bush had, and they came to the same conclusion when they voted to use force there.

Kerry’s decisions are based solely upon the amount of votes he can harvest, and that is why he keeps changing his mind. All candidates do what they can to gain votes, but he has swayed on too many issues. What will Kerry do to protect us in these times? How would he react to a situation like 9/11? I don’t really want to find out.

One of the slogans for this campaign is, “Anybody but Bush.” Democrats are going to do everything in their power to win, even if that means promoting a flawed candidate. Kerry is not the man to fill George W. Bush’s shoes. Bush is resolute and principled in his decisions, and he continues to act with poise and confidence despite the criticism he has received over the war in Iraq. After Kerry had challenged President Bush to have monthly debates up to the election in November, Bush simply stated, “When you stop debating with yourself, then you can debate with me.”

Ashley Earnest is a junior accounting major from Houston.

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