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Profiling A Bush Voter

There has been much debate and speculation in the media in the Middle East, Europe and elsewhere as to the identity of the “Bush voter.” The large majority of analyses has been wildly absurd, from the notion that a hard core of evangelicals wanting Armageddon is the true face, to the old theories that only a stupid and manipulated American electorate could support President Bush.

It is important to remember that the election of 2000, highly disputed, complicated and seemingly unending, awakened the American electorate, who were riveted by the twists and turns of the contentious process. This politically alert public then faced together Sept. 11, and together emerged stronger.

The American people, with a biased media feeding them anti-Bush propaganda daily, with a dirty campaign unfolding, may just see through all the hype to the fundamental issues.

President Bush has support because the American people do not want to abandon the Iraqi people.

Many learned of the US’s failure to protect the Shiites after Gulf War 1 only during Gulf War 2. Many recall the early days of the occupation, when US soldiers handed out fliers saying, “We will not abandon you again.” The pivotal question for Americans is not whether the Iraqis like the US, whether American soldiers are occupiers or liberators, but whether it would be to the Iraqis detriment to pull out and leave them to face the chaos alone. The support for presidential contender John Kerry has been dropping since he stated his latest position that US troops would begin to withdraw within six months of his taking over and be fully withdrawn within a few years.

Support for Kerry began dropping when he began complaining about the “$200” the US has already committed to Iraq. When Kerry gives a speech that mentions this figure more than a dozen times, each time referencing a lost social benefit in the US, Americans recognize that he is appealing to their greed and selfishness, that he is suggesting that the money would be better spent on US schools than those in Iraq. The voters disagree.

Iraq is broken and Americans believe themselves rightfully burdened by the duty to fix it, and have not deemed the blood of their sons too high a price for the liberty of a repressed people. The casualty marker of 1000 was an incident invented by the press, not by American voters.

Americans know that Iraqis are unsafe, and the picture is not rosy for the next several years. They respect Prime Minister Allawi all the more for taking the job in the face of this chaos and daily death threats. Americans have deep respect for the Iraqi police.

Most surprisingly to the uninformed perhaps, the Bush voters take the abstract view that the habit of the regular and peaceful transition of executive power in a Middle Eastern country is their best protection against those practicing terrorism. They are ready to endure attacks now to secure America’s future for their children.

It is not that millions of people are buying in George Bush’s platitudes and catch phrases. Much soul— searching went on after Sept. 11. The Bush voters are the people willing to sacrifice their money and their sons for a freer Middle East, and a world infused with liberty.

The Michael Moores of the America begrudge every penny spent in Iraq, lament every life as unworthy of the cause, lament the cause as unwinnable and are quick to consign the Middle East to another century of tyranny. They, under the banner of respect, support the candidate of retreat and disengagement. The anti-war movement does not march for the Sudanese.

The Bush voters are realistic and know that France and Germany will not join the cause. They understand that the UN is mainly an alliance of dictators supporting each other in the maintenance of the status quo. They know they will bear the burden alone. Kerry’s magic alliances will not materialize, because some nations have their self-interest at stake and choose a path of anti-Americanism in the hopes of appeasing their own peoples and the beheaders at large.

The Bush voter knows quite well that America is not safer since the invasion of Iraq and chooses to proceed anyway for the betterment of future generations.

The Bush voter knows quite well serious mistakes were made and Americans have done serious harm to the Iraqi people, and they must make a choice between he who would run from America’s responsibility and he who would try to bring a future of hope. Bush vs. Kerry, these are the only options.

The Bush voter has noticed there were no weapons of mass destruction but also noticed the mass graves, torture chambers and child prisons. The Bush voter hates Abu Ghraib but now for the first time wonders about the prisoners around the world.

If it makes those who stand against an Iraqi democracy feel superior to deride half of America, these Americans will not flinch. With the Brits, the Italians, the Poles, the American people will bear all insults, bleed on the streets, and lose their jobs, if that’s what it takes to ensure a democratic Iraq. These are lower and middle class Moms and Dads, this is the Bush voter.

— Jane Novak is a US based writer.

Arab News

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