Volume 17 • Issue 22 | October 22 - 28, 2004


John Kerry, the right choice for president
The compelling reasons why George W. Bush should not remain in the White House four more years are extensive. For starters, we are not as safe as we ought to be, our respect throughout the world has been diminished and we have paid dearly in lives and dollars for a war that didn’t involve our most dangerous enemy. While the president rushed to give tax breaks we couldn’t afford to the nation’s wealthiest, he allowed health care costs to skyrocket, jobs to plummet and an historic budget surplus to be converted into an historic deficit.

Bush took office under disputed circumstances and failed miserably to fulfill his promise to unite, rather than divide the nation.

As Downtown New Yorkers, we know as well as anyone what is at stake in this election and it is clear to us that John Kerry is the best choice to be our next president.

Following the 9/11 attacks, Bush squandered the international goodwill the U.S. was experiencing by going to war against Iraq without the support of most of our allies and the United Nations. As Kerry has accurately said, Bush “took his eye off the ball” — which should have been Osama bin Laden, not Saddam Hussein. Bush has turned much of the world against us by fighting an unnecessary war in Iraq that has only strengthened Al Qaeda’s recruiting efforts.

Senator Kerry is a principled, experienced man who is ready to put the country back on the right track. He understands that America has to clean up the mess in Iraq before we can leave and the first step is admitting our mistakes. Only then will we be able to get the international support needed to have a chance to help the Iraqis build a better country.

Kerry knows the difference between real and imagined threats both abroad and at home. As a young man, he showed courage in combat and then political courage opposing the Vietnam War.

His health care plan is focused on reducing costs and covering all children and almost all Americans.  Kerry supports seniors’ right to have access to low-cost Canadian drugs, while Bush weasels out by saying “but we have to make sure the drugs are safe.” Kerry’s support of meaningful embryonic stem cell research offers hope to millions who suffer from chronic diseases and conditions such as paralysis.

As Kerry has argued, without Bush’s tax cut for the wealthiest, Social Security would be on firm footing — and we would not have to be worrying now about draining the fund with Bush’s risky privatization schemes.

Kerry will appoint federal judges and hopefully Supreme Court justices who see the Constitution as a document intended to protect rather then diminish people’s rights. Preserving Roe vs. Wade and insuring there is no anti-gay marriage amendment are just two of the most important constitutional reasons why an administration change is needed.

Bush supports a massive tax cut for the nation’s wealthiest citizens, but opposes an increase in the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour. Under Bush, the number of Americans who have no health insurance has increased by 5.6 million, to 45 million. This is the true face of his “compassionate conservatism.”

We’re tired of Bush and Cheney reducing everything to “a comprehensive war on terror” — which, of course, now under Bush has to include Iraq, even though that country never posed a threat to us. We’re tired of this administration’s fear mongering and pushing through their right wing agenda under the cover of 9/11.

This election offers a clear alternative and a better choice. Downtown Express enthusiastically endorses John Kerry for president.

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