"Bush Relatives for Kerry"
"Bush Relatives for Kerry" grew out of a series of conversations that took place between a group of people that have two things in common: they are all related to George Walker Bush, and they are all voting for John Kerry. As the election approaches, we feel it is our responsibility to speak out about why we are voting for John Kerry, and to do our small part to help America heal from the sickness it has suffered since George Bush was appointed President in 2000. We invite you to read our stories, and please, don't vote for our cousin!"
"Bush Relatives for Kerry" grew out of a series of conversations that took place between a group of people that have two things in common: they are all related to George Walker Bush, and they are all voting for John Kerry. As the election approaches, we feel it is our responsibility to speak out about why we are voting for John Kerry, and to do our small part to help America heal from the sickness it has suffered since George Bush was appointed President in 2000. We invite you to read our stories, and please, don't vote for our cousin!
(For more information on how we are related to the President, click on the "About Us!" link below.)
Sisters Tracy Cannon (left) and Hilary House at the March for Women's Lives in Washington, D.C. in April 2004. Also known as "Red Sox Fans for Kerry," these sisters are voting for Kerry because he's the right person for the job. The fact that he's a Red Sox fan doesn't hurt!
Tracy (S. Chatham, MA): "I am voting for John Kerry this year as much out of need as desire. I have always liked him as a politician as well as a human being and I have never doubted his ability to run this country. I feel we need him now more than ever. The very thing that our president, my cousin, criticizes him for is exactly what makes him a natural leader, the ability to see when an error has been made and to be willing to do whatever it takes to fix it. The difference is, whatever needs fixing (the war in Iraq, joblessness, health insurance, social security, etc, etc) will be approached with a level head and the ability to see all sides of a problem. John Kerry will keep an open mind and remember that although we live in a great and powerful country, this world is filled with countries, all of whom deserve a voice. The overwhelming arrogance and knee jerk mentality that has consumed our government as of late will lead only to further mayhem and more rash decisions. It must stop.
I am blessed to have been born into a happy, middle-class, well-educated family. My parents made sure, however, that we never took any of that for granted and taught us to feel for those that have less than we. I truly believe that empathy is the greatest difference between these two candidates. George W. Bush is a man of limited vision and seemingly little compassion. I have always known that John Kerry has the greater good of not only our country, but the world as a whole in mind. It makes me sad that I cannot with good conscience vote for a member of my family. I am not someone who takes this lightly. However today, the lives of so many people hang in the balance that my role as an American is far more important than that of a cousin."
Hilary (Seattle, WA): "I'm voting for John Kerry because he'll make a better President. He'll fight for families, for children and for women. He'll help America restore its shattered reputation in the world, and he'll move the world to a more peaceful place. George W. Bush's grandfather and my grandmother were brother and sister. As much as I'd like to vote for a relative running for President, I just can't. His economic policies have destroyed lives, and his military policies continue to result in death on a daily basis. Enough is enough! After September 11th, Americans understandably became scared. President Bush has exploited that fear and used that horrible tragedy to convince people to accept the mistakes he has made. John Kerry will lead us in the right direction. He'll combat terrorism while at the same time moving America towards a more just, productive and respectable place in the world. John Kerry is better for business, he's better for families, and he's better for America. "
Henry Kimsey-House (Dillon Beach, California):
"I am voting for Kerry because I am terrified of the police state that is being created by George and his cronies. I am also voting for Kerry because he is complex and sees the paradox of things, that we are living in a complex and paradoxical world. George prefers to see everything in black or white, good or evil and this old paradigm world view will ventually doom us and perhaps the entire human species to extinction. Finally I think that empire building around a national or capitalist center is extremely dangerous and will naturally foment many wars and revolutions. I am not sure Kerry's view is Global enough but it certainly is much more Global than George's is. Living in the world we now live in where everything happens and moves so fast, it is naive and dangerous to cling to just one point of view or one national interest, as it invites others to do the same and thus many wars will happen. There must be a more inclusive and Global view that is held by our leadership and George and crew has no clue how to do that because they are stuck in their old paradigm, empire building, dinosaur age and doomed to extinction. Kerry is at least pointed in the right direction. Thats my 2 cents worth."
Chris House (Olympia, WA): I'm a father of two, and a teacher in Washington state. Being a son of George Herbert Walker Bush's first cousin, I've been witness to a family that bred itself for leadership. Bushes have made their political mark on a local, national and global level, with mixed success.
The thing that troubles me most with this current president is a heightened sense of entitlement. Throughout the 2000 election process, George W. Bush seemed to view his ascendancy as something of a given, something he didn't feel he had to work for along the way, like many others before him. The reigning symptom of this attitude is this: there is a stubborn refusal to look at a given situation in other, possibly more constructive ways. 'I was made for this position - so I've got to be right.' The mantra of 'You're either with us or against us' was certainly, as our president might say, decisive. However, what I sensed during these four years, for the first time in my life as an American, was the idea was that it wasn't O.K. for this country's citizens to debate the big issues facing us today. To be in doubt about something can feel troublesome. I know this firsthand as a teacher; and doubt can lead to unnecessary deliberations in some cases of politics. But it is a natural instinct, just as much as clarity and decisiveness are. These feelings made me see the concept of democracy up close; it was no longer buried in a history lecture.
I'm voting for Kerry because I feel that he will protect the nation by protecting the idea of democracy. I think he can do this job better than our current president.
Jeanny House (Wisconsin): I'm voting for John Kerry because I'm a Christian. I know that my second cousin, George Bush, claims that he is the anointed leader of the American people and that God told him to run for office. I believe he may even believe that. I don't.
My Christian faith leads me to a concern for the poor and the marginalized, yet Bush's actions in office have repeatedly cut funding for health care, aid to failing schools, jobs programs, after school programs, Head Start, and many more services that provide real help and hope to those living in poverty. Under the Bush administration, over a million additional people have dropped below the poverty line. 1.2 million more have gone into "deep poverty," which is one-half the $18,810 for a family of four that defines "poverty."
My Christian faith leads me to a concern for the health and welfare of all of God's people, yet 45 million people in this country have no health insurance. The Bush administration, working hard to protect the interests of large, rich insurance companies, has done nothing to address the real health care crisis.
My Christian faith tells me the peacemakers are the blessed ones, yet George Bush wants to resurrect the Crusades, one of the most shameful experiences in Christian history. I fail to understand how lying to the people of the United States about any of the many justifications they have used for going to war in Iraq can be considered in any way, shape, or form a remotely Christian activity. Yes, Jesus once said, "I come not to bring peace, but a sword." He was talking about liberating his OWN people from within, not invading an oil-rich country out of purely selfish motives, then claiming it was for the liberation of others. The only true liberation comes when the oppressed claim it for themselves. This is something George Bush and his Imperialist cabal will never understand.
My Christian faith moves toward greater inclusiveness and acceptance, George Bush moves toward punishment, division, and exclusion. My Christian faith seeks to bring people into the circle of decision-making, George Bush seeks to keep them out. My Christian faith seeks to afford equal rights and responsibilities to all, George Bush seeks to reserve more rights for the privileged few.
My Christian faith is not looking for a new Messiah named George Bush.
I am, however, looking for a leader. I believe that leader's name is John Kerry.
Sheila House (Harwich, MA): I am voting for John Kerry because I believe that 4 more years of the Bush administration would be incredibly detrimental to this great country of ours. Mr. Bush and his cronies have stressed the danger and chaos in a world gripped by terror and have ignored the logical step of building an international coalition to fight terrorism as a united front. I believe Mr. Kerry to be a thoughtful man, one who has experienced danger, lived with fear, and can respond in a rational, non-hysterical manner. Most important of all, he and his wife Theresa are dedicated to environmental causes. We can't continue to ravage the air, earth and oceans of this small planet. We must support the presidential candidate who most cares about who we're leaving the place to. I think that person is Mr. Kerry.
Samuel Prescott Bush House (Delmar, NY): "I was named after my great grandfather, Samuel Prescott Bush, who has been described to me as a very fine man. Beyond that description, I know little about my namesake, other than what I have read in recent books and conversations with my own father. SP Bush was also George W. Bush's great grandfather. Like many of my fellow Bush relatives, I too am voting for John Kerry in this election. I am ardently and unapologetically progressive in my beliefs, but I hold many of the same views that many of my more conservative relatives also hold.
I am often disheartened when liberals, conservatives and the media alike look for ways to pigeon hole people according to a perceived set of political beliefs. If, for example, I am in favor of environmental regulation, I am a "Liberal". If I am in favor of welfare reform, I am a "Conservative". George W. Bush, my second cousin, labels others in this way, regularly and consistently. This kind of behavior is both simplistic and offensive to me. When we hold this kind of perspective, it forces us to to see others in black and white hues and further polarizes us as we consider the "liberal" or "conservative" person across from us.
George W. Bush labels John Kerry as a "Liberal", and venomously spews remarks about him as if he has shamefully contracted a sexually-transmitted disease. Similarly, in strong labeling fashion, our president and his supporters have tried to shape the label of a "patriot" as someone who does not question the policies or practices of his administration when the country is at war. As someone who considers himself a patriot, I do not know how to understand the "patriotism" of our president. I find it difficult to understand the patriotism behind giving tax breaks to corporations that export jobs overseas, leaving well-meaning and hard-working folks at home without a solid chance to support themselves. I find it incomprehensible that patriotism of the brand our president practices, includes ravaging our environmental policies, resulting in an immediate and lasting degradation of the environment for the foreseeable future, hurting my children and their children, the future patriots of this country.
I do not understand the "patriotism" that goes along with resisting the formation of the 9/11 commission for months, and then dragging our heels at implementing the recommendations of this blue-ribbon bi-partisan commission. I am completely puzzled by the notion of it being patriotic to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, the heart of terrorist activity that led to 9/11, and throw them into an adventure in Iraq, where there has never been evidence of a link to Al Qaida or to terrorism.
How is it patriotic to give a series of tax breaks to the very wealthiest of individuals at a time of war? How is it patriotic to create a monstrous deficit and then add to our national debt when, at the time that our president assumed office, we were well on our way to being solvent as a country? How is it "patriotic" to create the No Child Left Behind Act and then withhold the money set aside for its implementation, educationally neglecting our own children?
Many of my relatives and forbears are staunch Republicans and conservative in their politics. As a particular brand of "conservatives", they believe, as I do, that we must CONSERVE our natural resources and show a nurturing approach to the environment in which our children and grandchildren grow up. These conservative relatives believe that we, as a nation, must be fiscally responsible, pay our bills fully and on time, expect that everyone contribute to the economy, and leave our country in better shape than it was for our own generations. Many of these conservative relatives, living and dead, have believed that we must be actively involved, as citizens, in our government, and that it is our responsibility to speak out--forcefully, if necessary--when we disagree with something that our government is doing. Doing so is the very act of patriotism, in that it contributes to and fosters a flourishing democratic process.
Many of these relatives, though we probably disagree on many things, would, I believe, support the notion that the citizens of this country should make sacrifices to support the efforts of our troops abroad, during a time of war. As such, many of my conservative relatives would be appalled that, in some cases, as members of the high-income tax brackets, they are receiving large tax breaks while people of less means are being asked to pay more, as the government's coffers spiral downward from a huge surplus to unimaginable debt and deficit during war-time.
I think some of my conservative relatives may be quietly saddened to learn that, according to their own political orientation, many of their values would be unwelcome by the likes of my cousin, our president who, like them, labels himself a "conservative". This may be going out on a limb, but I nonetheless believe that some of these relatives even privately, grudgingly feel that they have no choice but to vote for John Kerry, due to the hypocrisy demonstrated by this "conservative" president. They may not like having to choose John Kerry, simply because of their own honorable loyalty to the Republican party but, faced with the outrageous positions and choices taken by this president, I believe that many of them will be choosing according to their values over their political party.
I disagree with these relatives on many issues, especially those related to the social agenda of the Republican party. However, I stand proudly with them on the issues that they have always identified as being genuinely "conservative"--toward the environment and toward fiscal constraint--and which George W. Bush disdains and ignores with cavalier disregard. So, what label are we to have? Would we be considered "liberal" or "conservative", given our similarities and our differences? Despite whatever labels we receive, it appears by everything that I can tell, we would be considered to be on the "wrong" side by George W. Bush. For this reason, I cannot, given this president's stand, support his candidacy. I urge others to consider what this president's interests truly are. I urge the vast majority of Americans who are not among the richest, most privileged in this country, to examine whether this president's "patriotism" and "conservatism" is aligned with their own interests.
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