This is the non-policy countdown of reasons to vote for Kerry over Bush--one per day until the day before Election Day. Non-policy? Yep. You won't find arguments over whose stance on jobs is better, or so on. This is all about the candidates' personalities.
There are terribly important issues out there, it's true. But sometimes a man assumes power who is so thoroughly corrupt, inept, or unwise, that it becomes paramount that he is pulled from power as soon as possible. I wouldn't have thought it possible before Bush, but we have in him a President who is all three.
So far, we have...
Reason #10: Kerry is hard-working, Bush is lazy.
Reason #9: Bush is careless with his words.
Reason #8: Bush is dangerously secretive.
And so we come to...
Reason #7: Bush is unable to listen to contrary opinions, or change his mind when the facts dictate.
In a way, this dovetails with #8, Bush's secrecy. Part of the reason for his secrecy is to keep contrary opinions or facts away from him, so he can continue down the ideologically-driven path he desires.
Bush and his Administration have become famous for stepping on whomever they need to in order to push through their agenda in Congress or make decisions affecting all of us. Bullying, discrediting, spreading false information...all tactics are open when it comes to dealing with anyone who stands against Bush on any issue at any time, regardless of whether they helped Bush in the past. Is it really that surprising he is the first President in U.S. history to NEVER veto a single bill?
When it came time to start ignoring the war on al-Qaeda and invade Iraq, Bush asked for information that would allow him to sell the war to the public. He wasn't interested in hearing opinions saying that "Saddam is contained" or "Saddam's WMD programs have fallen apart under the force of the international sanctions." All he wanted to hear was the rumors, innuendoes, and possibilities that would allow him to stitch together a tissue of lies to sell to the military, the public, and the world.
After Iraq was invaded and Saddam driven into hiding, the search for WMDs was on. Wasn't it? Well, to a degree, yes. They were hoping to find...something. After all, Bush's daddy and Reagan were the ones who sold Saddam his old WMDs, which he used on the Kurds and the Iranians. It stood to reason, they figured, that some might have been hidden away, instead of destroyed as Saddam had vociferously maintained. They figured wrong.
No protections were made of Iraq's munitions, nuclear plants, or museums. The only area properly guarded in Baghdad was the Oil Ministry. Why? I leave the answer to the reader.
Bush's whole plan for the war was: 1) Use the U.S. military to drive Saddam out of power. 2) Parade down the street to throngs of well-wishing Iraqis. 3) Pump oil like mad to fund the rebuilding of Iraq and line the pockets of Bush's cronies.
Now we know the results of that disastrous lack of post-invasion planning. Our soldiers are confined to certain areas, and whole cities have been declared "no-go" areas. Our soldiers are dangerously low on armor, ammunition, and spare parts, to the point where some soldiers are now refusing orders. Insurgent numbers keep climbing. Stocks of guns and explosives were taken without ever being properly guarded. Iraqi police and soldier trainees are blown up in line, unprotected, or massacred without weapons. The whole world, outside of the "coalition of the willing" is angry at Bush and, to a lesser extent, the U.S. Members of the "coalition of the willing" are becoming unwilling and going home. 100,000 Iraqis are "trained"--but only with a paltry three weeks of basic training. Less than 5,000 are fully trained. Car bombs blow up civilian Iraqis on a daily basis. Anyone traveling unarmed is subject to kidnapping. Since the oil pipelines keep being attacked and nearly the whole country is unbelievably dangerous to anyone thought of as helping the U.S., rebuilding is nearly zero, and Bush had to line Halliburton's pockets directly from the coffers of the U.S. Treasury instead of from oil money.
Despite this, Bush hasn't changed his mind at all about Iraq. He still claims it's part of the war on terror. This despite the fact that Saddam, a secular leader, declined invitations by fundamentalist al-Qaeda to partner up. Iraq wasn't part of our war on terror--until Bush bulled his way into Iraq. Now we know that some of the innocent people in both Guantanamo and Iraq whom we arrested and tortured have since turned into insurgents or terrorists. Bush is creating more terrorists than anyone else this side of Osama bin Laden, the man Bush wanted "dead or alive." Or, in a six-month flip-flop, "I truly am not that concerned about him." Was he changing his mind? No. He never really cared about getting bin Laden. Afghanistan was just a precursor to attacking Iraq. We know that because Bush was pulling troops towards Iraq even though the job wasn't even close to being finished. When it comes to something important to Bush, he'll never change his mind. Anything not important to him is just a potential lie to be told to advance his agenda.
Well, aside from terror, what does Bush think about Iraq? About the fact that there are no WMDs and there was no way for Saddam to get them as long as the no-fly zone and the international sanctions were in place? About the fact that we were not greeted as liberators, but as occupiers? About the growing insurgency? About his lack of planning, and the lack of an exit strategy? Would he have done anything different?
No, said Bush. I wouldn't have changed a thing.
This is the mind of a man incapable of dealing with reality. That makes it dangerous for anyone who is directly or indirectly exposed to his decisions. That would be....everyone.
Bush doesn't want to live in a democracy, he wants to be a dictator, making decisions with NO input from anyone else. To quote (found at DubyaSpeak.com):
1. It would be a heck of a lot easier to be a dictator than work in a democracy. (1996 - referenced in J.H. Hatfield's "Fortunate Son", when he was governor of Texas)
2. You don't get everything you want, a dictatorship would be a lot easier. (July 1998)
3. If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier... just so long as I'm the dictator. (Dec. 18, 2000 - shortly after his contentious victory in the Supreme Court that resulted in his becoming president)
4. A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it. (July 26, 2001)
Or, as Bush once put it regarding his executive order making faith-based groups eligible for federal subsidies in the face of the First Amendment, "It's not a dictatorship in Washington, but I tried to make it one in that instance."
To sum up:
Bush is incapable of listening to contrary opinions, meeting in the middle with people holding different philosophies, or reasonably changing his mind when the facts don't agree with his hypothoses. To sum up more:
#7: Bush is incapable of changing his mind even when it is vital to do so.