Kerry offers more hope for Nevada | NevadaAppeal.com

Kerry offers more hope for Nevada

Nevada Appeal editorial board

If the war in Iraq is the defining issue of the 2004 presidential election, then President George W. Bush gains no advantage over his Democratic opponent, Sen. John Kerry. And on the domestic front, Kerry offers more hope and vision for the average American.

We believe Kerry should be the next president of the United States. We urge voters to elect him.

First, the war: Bush’s response to Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks was strong and decisive – a policy of taking the “war on terrorism” off U.S. soil and aggressively pursuing terrorists with military troops. The invasion of Afghanistan sent that message loud and clear.

But then the U.S. invaded Iraq, a war designed to change the regime of a dictatorship and install democracy in an Islamic country. The goal of deposing and capturing Saddam Hussein was met, but the cause of fighting global terrorism was mislaid. That’s why Kerry calls it the “wrong war.”

Now the U.S. is left with a costly, protracted occupation of a foreign country. Parallels to Vietnam should not be taken lightly. Kerry, the decorated veteran of that war who came home to protest it vociferously, far better understands the deep divisions it created in this country. He also understands the necessity of fighting a global war on terrorism with the broadest coalition of nations possible.

At home, Bush has consistently favored the rich and powerful over the poor and weak.

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Job loss has been unprecedented. Energy policy was written by the energy industry. Environmental issues, just when we thought they were reaching a reasonable balance of common sense and common use, have been yanked back toward exploitation and away from public access.

Many credit Bush’s No Child Left Behind reforms as his biggest domestic success, yet we are no fans of top-down federal education mandates.

His tax cuts are nice for the middle class, a windfall for the very rich. Yet Bush has done nothing to curb federal spending, piling up record deficits.

We admit it is easier to build a case against Bush than for Kerry, whose liberal record in the Senate is troubling.

Yet Kerry’s presidential campaign offers a deficit-reduction plan, wider health-care coverage through employers, a sounder approach to Social Security, and an end to tax breaks sending industry jobs overseas. He plans to fully fund No Child Left Behind – still a federal mandate, but this time with money behind it.

Finally, as Nevadans we find it impossible to endorse the president who decided Yucca Mountain is a scientifically sound repository for the nation’s nuclear waste. While this is not a deciding issue nationally, it is a significant mark in Kerry’s column for Nevadans.

Adding up the pluses and minuses, Kerry comes out the winner. We think that’s where he should be on Election Day.