Today the Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether in the war on terrorism President Bush can order American citizens held indefinitely in a military jail without charges, a hearing or access to a lawyer. This is possibly the most important decision that these justices will make in their tenure on the court. The outcome will also determine how I cast my vote for president in November.
There are a great many things that President Bush has done while in office that I completely disagree with. I don’t like the way he has handled spending. I don’t like the fact that he has increased the size of government. Mostly, though, I don’t like the way he is handling domestic security issues. You see, even though I don’t like a lot of the thing he’s done, I believe that had Al Gore been president I wouldn’t have liked what he would have done even more. That is, except for one major issue I have with the way this administration is handling domestic security issues.
I don’t like the fact that this administration feels like it can just grab someone off the street and hold them incommunicado for an indefinate period of time just by declaring that person an enemey combatant. I don’t care how bad of a person the prisoner might be there can always be cases of mistaken identity and that’s what due process is all about, preventing mistakes or abuse of power from harming the innocent. In this country we just don’t grab people off the streets without their having some course of protest.
And now we are where this most important decision by the SC comes into the equation with my important decision this coming November. I don’t really have a problem with an administration attempting to do things that I may consider to not be constitutionally sound as long as they truely consider those things to be constitutionally sound and the Supreme Court is able to reel them in and control them. I believe that the Bush administration truely believes that they are on solid ground in their treatment of "enemy combatants". I believe that John Kerry would make a horrible president but that he would not take the same stand on "enemy combatants" that Bush has taken. If the Supreme Court rejects the Bush administrations treatment of "enemy combatants" as un-constitutional I’ll vote for Bush. If however, the Supreme Court upholds the Bush administrations treatment of "enemy combatants" then I’ll have to hold my nose and vote for John Kerry.
I have tried real hard to find more reasons to vote for Kerry than the one that I have. Unfortunately, as bad as I find the Bush administration to be, I find Kerry to be worse except for this one issue and this one issue is the most important one of the campaign for me. If the Supreme Court can’t reign Bush in on this one item then I see another term with Bush as president to be a threat to the continued freedoms of our country. If the Supreme Court does clamp down on this abuse of power then I see a Kerry Whitehouse to be the largest threat to economic recovery and security from the terrorist.
I hate it that I’m having to choose between the lesser of two evils for my President. Why can’t the Democrats ever come up with a suitable candidate for me? What I hate most of all about this, though, is that a whole different branch of the government is going to make the decision of who I vote for for me, not the candidates themselves.