OpenChoke Readers...You know my stand. It ain't Kerry. However, in the interest of fairness, I am running an opposing view from a respected member of the oilpatch...
"For my two cents worth I won’t offer a balanced (or even an unbalanced) discussion of the strengths and weaknesses, the comparative intelligence or the respective histories of John Kerry and George W. Bush. Instead I want to state why I think that Tuesday’s Presidential ballot is the most important election in my lifetime.
In this election our rights as Americans and our late 20th century role as the leader in the support of the fundamental rights of humankind are at stake. The horrific and cowardly attack of September 11, 2001 on America spelled the end of American innocence and demanded that we awake to the threat of sudden death at the hands of fanatics. On that day we joined citizens of many nations around the world who have lived every day in that horrible knowledge of great danger. Let’s kiss our naiveté goodbye but not our devotion to basic human freedoms.
Our country was born with these words:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,….”
We have made great progress toward the embodiment of these principles through two centuries of conflict and great sacrifice at home and in the world. Our nation stands as a symbol of hope to those oppressed by totalitarian rule. We have made our experiment in rule by “consent of the governed” work – however imperfectly.
Today we risk losing our rights at home and our place as a land of freedom, and in the world as the hope for the oppressed. On the short list we must not:
Abandon the principle that the accused is just that - accused until proven guilty
Sacrifice the right of an accused to know the charges against him
Conduct “trials’ in secret in the manner of the Soviet mock trials of dissidents.
Allow our law enforcement agencies to decide (rather than a court of law) when a search is reasonable.
We must demand that our government extend American rights to all over whom we exercise power, friend and foe. Let’s fight the fanatics, but let’s not abandon our freedom in the process...
I will vote for John Kerry because I believe that he will honor our tradition of freedom, protection of human rights and rule of the governed by the governed."