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Kerry ready to supply peace, ties

Nov. 2, 2004

By JOANNA CATTANACH, guest columnist

Four years ago I sat with Republicans and Democrats in the lobby of Alexander Residence Hall and watched the 2000 presidential election unfold. I saw Florida go Technicolor. Vice President Al Gore conceded, then retracted his conession. Chads were checked. And 36 days later then-Gov. George W. Bush was officially named president. I voted for Bush. I was satisfied that I had made the right decision. Today I intend to vote for Sen. John Kerry.

Kerry has years of experience in the Senate and in Washington D.C. Bush campaigned in 2000 as a uniter. As someone who has interned, studied and regularly visits Washington, D.C., I can attest to the very opposite.

I've sat in cabs, offices and hearings and witnessed just how partisan politics do not work.

Is it democracy in action when bills are voted into law directly along party lines, when communication across the aisle comes in the form of ugly slurs, partisan bickering and divisiveness, or when any attempt to fill necessary federal appellate positions are filibustered to death?

I believe Kerry has the ability and the seniority among important Democrats and Republicans to make government function for the people and not the party in power.

I believe Kerry should roll back the tax cuts, because I haven't seen a dime of them and neither have my parents.

As one who has been laid off, I understand more than most the importance of having a steady job. Employment is not a matter of sustaining and protecting what we have, but rather creating more jobs in new and expanding fields.

I believe Kerry can be the president to promote research and study of new medicines, newer technologies, alternative fuels and creating more and better paying jobs. National security has overshadowed this domestic-deficient campaign cycle.

My parents are fond of reminding me that you don't change horses in midstream.

Neither do you ride the sway-backed, one-eyed nag into deep waters and drown. And frankly, the Middle East is rife with still waters that run deep.

Kerry has repeatedly spoke of coalition-building, credibility, trust and allies.

Do we unilaterally pull out? No. Do we need partners in this campaign against terrorism? Yes. As Kerry has written, "We have to make countries in the Middle East want peace."

Peace is never possible with violence. Violence begets violence. Stampede tanks through Baghdad and expect continued resistance and bloodshed.

Kerry supports a campaign to win the peace, not a pre-emptive war in the name of democracy.

As an American college student, I vividly remember Sept. 11. I want to feel safe again but not by tripling our national deficit to do so, not by cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits and not by severely underfunding "No Child Left Behind."

Four years ago when I sat alongside my fellow students in Alexander Residence Hall I believed in a better, more educated, more productive and proud America.

I still believe these things and Tuesday, I'm voting for the candidate who I believe can make this happen: Kerry for president.