I am in search of a typical, reasonable supporter of Mr. Bush. I wish to engage this person (or more than one, if such find their way to this page) in a dialogue concerning the fundamental thinking that underlies their choice. To start things off, I offer a set of eleven questions. If you think you have good answers for any of these questions, please email your answers to me. Please state also whether you allow me to post portions of your responses on my website at some future date. If I do post any portions of your material, I promise to edit it fairly (if I edit it at all).
1. What’s the most important problem facing America?
2. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution states (I abridge the text to concentrate attention on the relevant portions; be assured that I have not altered the meaning): “No person shall be... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…” Does not the detention of ’enemy combatants’ at Guantanamo violate the Fifth Amendment? Does this not alarm you?
3. Is “separation of church and state” an essential component of American government?
4. In his speech to the nation justifying the upcoming invasion of Iraq, President Bush offered two rationales: the “imminent danger” arising from Saddam’s possession of WMD, and his ties to Al Qaeda. We now know that neither of these justifications was true. Mr. Bush erred; should not an error of such import and magnitude disqualify him for future office in the eyes of any reasonable voter?
5. It has been established beyond all doubt that the Bush administration deliberately misled Congress as to the true cost of its health care bill, even to the point of suppressing correct information about the cost. If Mr. Clinton’s lies about his sexual activities merited impeachment, should not Mr. Bush’s lies on this matter, involving billions of dollars, be even more deserving of impeachment?
6. Does Mr. Bush’s obvious predilection for favoring the rich and powerful, both in terms of tax benefits and easing of legal constraints on corporations, bother you?
7. Do the 9/11 attacks justify a weakening of Constitutional protections for individuals?
8. Mr. Bush has wiped out the largest budget surplus in history and replaced it with a gigantic deficit. Does this bother you? Is it serious or important?
9. Mr. Bush has alienated most of the world; the sympathy and good will generated by 9/11 has been replaced by distrust and ill will. Is this a significant mistake?
10. Mr. Bush promised to be a “uniter, not a divider”, yet under his administration America has become more polarized than at any time in our history. Does this bother you?
11. If you agree that many of the above points represent mistakes on Mr. Bush’s part, what positive factors in Mr. Bush’s policies outweigh these negative factors?
Thanks for your time; you can find my email address from a link on my home page.
I received my first response to this request; I present the gist of the discussion as well as my conclusions here.
After much discussion and research, I have come to some conclusions about the matter; here they are.