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The crucial difference

By Jill S. Farrell
web posted August 2, 2004

The politically disgruntled are saying, "There's not a dime's worth of difference between Kerry and Bush."

That could certainly be true as seen through the eyes of a fiscal conservative. There is very little light at the end of the discretionary spending tunnel given these two presidential choices. A call from either candidate for systemic change in the appropriations process is as necessary as it is unlikely. (However, their differences will likely show themselves in the areas of business regulation, energy policy, environmental policy, tort reform and taxation...all of which have economic repercussions!)

It may also be true to some who are scrutinizing the Iraq situation, especially since Kerry has only spoken vaguely of "internationalizing" and "rebuilding alliances" while offering no concrete strategy.

A recent Los Angeles Times poll showed the presidential race in a virtual dead heat between President Bush and Democratic candidate John Kerry: 52 per cent approved of Bush's job performance and 47 per cent disapproved; in a two-way race Bush/Cheney takes 46 per cent of likely voters while Kerry/Edwards takes 48 per cent with six percent undecided; and so on.

Pollster John Zogby in a January article, "America Culturally Divided; Blue vs. Red States, Democrats vs. Republicans -- Two Separate Nations, New O'Leary Report/Zogby Poll Reveals," noticed a two-Americas trend. This is not the insipid "no opportunity in America" two-Americas argument that liberals like to trot out on a regular basis, but a real societal divide:

The O'Leary Report /Zogby International poll of Red States (those that voted for George W. Bush in 2000) and Blues States (those that supported Al Gore) reveals a nation deeply divided by party, ideology, the presidency of George W. Bush, and values...The poll reveals that as we enter what promises to be a very contentious 2004 presidential contest, George W. Bush and his Democratic challenger will be campaigning in two different, yet parallel universes.

A recent LA Times poll sees it as Zogby found it several months ago:

The survey finds the electorate dividing along familiar lines. Bush leads among whites, men, married voters, regular church-attenders and those who live in rural areas; Kerry leads among minorities, women, singles, those who attend church less frequently and urban voters.

That is the very heart of the situation. To a large extent the line can be drawn between two distinctly different ideological Americas: one of faith and tradition, one of relativism and "progress." One side values family, the other -- actively or through misplaced compassion -- embraces chaos. Most importantly, one side values life while the other side values convenience and utility above all else.

To all of the disgruntled citizens who are on the political "bench" prepared to sit this one out, your vote could make all of the difference...literally between life and death. Though you are not getting everything your own way, remember: you can protest; you can write and phone your politicians; you can organize your neighborhood and your church; you can join with other grassroots organizations; you can write to editors and let your voice be heard.

The babies, on the other hand, are helpless.

If you value life, you cannot sit this one out. If partial-birth abortion disturbs you, if human experimentation (embryonic stem cell research and therapeutic cloning) bothers you or if you believe The Unborn Victim of Crime Bill is worthwhile, then you must vote. If you want to stand up and cheer or merely exhale in relief that we are de-funding the UN Population Fund, which supports China's gruesome forced population control, then you must vote.

This Administration's priorities on life and related issues are loud and clear to those who will listen. This administration is providing more funding, better coordination, and tighter laws to prevent human (sex) trafficking. This administration spoke eloquently and vigorously in support of traditional marriage. This administration supports abstinence education, which is the only 100 per cent effective method of preventing unwanted pregnancies and STDs.

The race is too close to stay on the sidelines, or to vote for "other." In this election as in few others, to refuse to act is to elect the opposition.

There is more at risk than the presidential policy initiatives that we will be living with. The next President will undoubtedly appoint one, if not three seats to the Supreme Court. The next President faces a host of unfilled seats on the Federal Bench. Think about the decisions from the judiciary that you and your children will be fighting to overturn or forced to live with...as well as of the lives at risk.

Jill S. Farrell is Director of Communications for the Free Congress Foundation.

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