Sarah Baxter, political editor of the left-wing New Statesman in the early 1990s, now living in New York and registered as a Democrat, explains why "I’m a Democrat for Bush:"
So here I am in deep Kerry territory, surrounded by designer Democrats who are far wealthier than me, harboring a secret and deeply untrendy thought. . . . I am going to vote for George Dubya. . . . In this election, I am a single-issue voter. It is that simple. . .
Tax cuts for the rich? Kerry can roll them back with my blessing . . . The deficit? Perhaps he will reduce it, though I’m skeptical. Abortion rights? By all means, let’s hang on to them. Federal funding for embryonic stem cell research? Good idea, I hope it works. Health? I would love to see more people insured. The death penalty? I’m against it even for terrorists, which puts me to the left of the Democrat candidate.
But, if Bush is ousted, there will be victory celebrations across the undemocratic Arab world. More "martyrs" will step forward, eager to play their part in the decline of the West. . . .
When Bush said in last week’s debate: "We can be safe and secure if we go on the offense against terrorism and if we spread liberty around the world," I felt he spoke with conviction. When Kerry said he was going to "hunt and kill" the terrorists, I heard a politician's soundbite. . .
Baxter writes that she had "a formative experience in 1989" when she was a cub reporter covering Yusuf Islam -- Cat Stevens -- and his attempts to gain state funding for his Islamia school in London:
I was ambitious to seek out foreign stories as a freelance and had heard that an obscure group called Hamas was becoming a force to be reckoned with in the occupied territories.
I was sympathetic to the Palestinian cause and wanted to know more about these upstart challengers to Israel and the PLO. But how could I possibly gain access to Hamas? I rang my contacts at the Islamia school and bingo! I was immediately put in touch with their leaders in Gaza, whom Cat Stevens was flying off to see that very month.
[I] set off for the occupied territories with a black chiffon scarf over my head. . . .We were taken upstairs in a mosque and, to my shock, were introduced to a dozen or more would-be suicide bombers in their mid-teens . . .
At the time, there had been no suicide bombs in Israel. . . . Yet here I was, looking at a bunch of boys with kaffirs masking their faces, brandishing knives and practicing karate in a place of worship. These weren't boy scouts in a church hall; they were being trained to become fanatical killers by their religious elders. . . .
I expect most of the young men I talked to are now either dead or sitting in an Israeli jail. They were triumphalist about the global spread of Islam and confident that it would one day dominate the planet.
They hated the West, they wanted to kill Jews, and none of them had ever heard of George W. Bush.
Last week, Judith Weiss of Kesher Talk posted a "A Jewish liberal New Yorker on why she is voting for Bush," an essay written by a friend who wanted to remain anonymous:
"If not now, when?" Senator Kerry has decried "the rush to war," . . . [He] preferred to wait until we secured the co-operation of France, which means we would still be waiting today.
If we went to Iraq too early to please Senator Kerry, we are now lingering too long for his taste. Dismayed by the hopeless "quagmire" he perceives, he has declared his intention to bring our troops home as soon as possible, preferably in six months.
Too early, too late: It's never quite the right time to do battle on Senator Kerry's calendar. There is always another ally to consult, resolution to be passed, conference to be convened, process to be perfected, obstacle to be avoided.
In San Diego, a military community from which 15 percent of the U.S. casualties in Iraq have come, the Union-Tribune endorses Bush. It is worth reading. Sarah Baxter's article is worth reading in its entirety.