Single Issues

October 2004


Are you a single issue voter? Is there one issue you think is so important that you are prepared to vote for a candidate who promises to support that one issue, even if you can't support that candidate on other issues? If so, please read this article.

I know two groups of people whose support of President Bush is the result of his support for a single issue:

  1. Anti-Abortion folks
  2. Right to Bear Arms folks

Many of these people have really serious disagreements with the policies of the current administration, or would have if they let themselves think about those policies and their effects. But they feel so strongly about their single issue that they disregard everything else as unimportant. And yes, there are a few two-issue folks who support him because they fall into both of the above groups.

To the people who might support a different candidate, if only that candidate espoused a commitment to ending legal abortion, I have several points to make.

If Kerry were elected, there would not be any more legal abortions performed in the next six months than if George Bush were elected. Legal abortion is currently, right or wrong, the law. The proper way of changing the law is to enact legislation, not by electing a chief executive.

One of my chief disagreements with Mr. Bush and his administration is that he has seen fit to rule by regulation rather than by legislation. It is his duty to uphold and enforce the laws of this nation, all of them, whether he personally disagrees with them or not. It is not the job of the President to tell federal agencies to selectively enforce some laws and to ignore others -- as he has done in the environmental, education, labor relations, workplace safety, and many other agencies.

If you succeed in making all abortions illegal, then, if elected, it will be Mr. Kerry's sworn duty to enforce that law and to bring to justice those people who break that law. And he will faithfully discharge this duty, just as he has for more than 30 years of public service.

If a law is wrong, repeal it. If another law is needed, pass it. Our government should never rule by the decree of the executive branch. If we support leaders who act like kings, then what does that say about our belief in democratic institutions.

Similarly, the notion that Mr Kerry, if elected, would be able to ram through a whole truck load of repressive gun control legislation is ridiculous. He isn't going to win by any landslide, nor will his party have a majority in either the US House or Senate.

The Bush administration has, through sleight of hand, rendered the right to keep and bear arms moot by the passage of the Patriot Act. This cozy little bit of legislation allows the government to take away your guns any time they please -- just because they say they have a good reason to, and without due process. By this act, they can even declare anyone born and raised in America to not be a citizen anymore, also without due process.

If you look at the Bush Administration's record over the past three and a half years without considering your key issue, and if you really do decide that this administration is acting in your best interests and that their policies are best for the nation, then by all means, vote your conscience.

If on the other hand, you are horrified by the rise in poverty in this country, the increasing disparity between rich and poor, the loss of good jobs, the abysmal environmental record of the administration, their habit of selectively enforcing laws, their out-of-control spending, their record of attacking other nations without solid reasons or proven imminent threat, and their unbroken record of pandering to the wealthiest and most powerful (whether at home, like Exxon or abroad like the Saudis) at the expense and peril of the poorest and most defenseless Americans, then I urge you to judge within your own heart where the greater harm will result:

And regardless of who wins, continue to fight for what you believe in and work within our democratic system to ensure that right triumphs finally. Therein lies the chief strength of this great nation. For our strength lies not in our leaders but in ourselves.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.