One important caveat to this post is that I would fully support Kerry if I was in a swing (or even close) state. I want Bush out of office for a variety of reasons. However, I think that Kerry is only a marginally better candidate. I am voting in Kansas where Kerry will not win. If I'm going to vote for a losing candidate I'd rather it be the one I agree with on more issues.
Bush got this completely wrong as have many presidents in the past. The current system allows for about 800,000 immigrants to come into America each year. With each year more and more people attempt to enter America. 480,000 people came to America under family reunification entry. This means that they had a spouse, children, parents, or other siblings who sponsored them. Then 140,000 immigrants came to fill jobs that the US Department of Labor determined were unable to be filled by American citizens. What is left is about 110,000 refugees who have proven their claims of political or religious persecution in their homeland; and about 55,000 who are admitted under a "diversity" lottery, begun in 1990, that mainly benefits young European and African immigrants.
The amount of people seeking entrance into America should be lowered, those who are in America should be treated better, and refugee status needs to be a little easier to obtain.
Concerning the second issue Nader addresses it squarely when he says:
Immigrant workers, even if they are undocumented, should be given all the fair-labor standards and all the rights and benefits of American workers. In addition they should be be allowed to get a drivers license in order to reduce hazards on the highway and allow them to function in our culture, e.g. get to work, get their children to school. If this country doesn't like that, maybe it will do something about the immigration laws. But we cannot treat undocumented immigrants as subjects for inhumanity.
2. The Iraq War/Occupation
President Bush made a major mistake with the war in Iraq. He continues to change his reasons for why we went into Iraq after undermining the UN. Of course, Bush continues to disparage the UN which happened to be correct: there were no WMD in Iraq.
Another lie is the ties between Al Qaeda-9/11. The White House made this claim even though the CIA and FBI repeatedly told the Administration that there was no tie between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. They were mortal enemies - one secular, the other fundamentalist.
The other silly claims that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the US and to his neighboring countries are as silly as saying that we needed to liberate the Iraqi people. Saddam was not considered a threat to America. His military was weaker than any of his neighboring countries. As far as liberation there are dozens of countries experiencing worse treatment from their leaders than Iraq was. We need to do something in those countries but occupation is not the first step.
For better or worse we are in Iraq. With both Bush and Kerry it seems that the fighting will continue indefinitely. Neither have any workable solutions to the crisis situation. Nader's doesn't seem ideal to me but it is better than simply staying the course. He calls for: "US Should Underwrite an Appropriate International Peacekeeping Force, Encourage Iraqi Self Rule and Continue Humanitarian Aid to Rebuild Iraq."
Kerry has left me with a little disappointment in regards to Iraq.
The other issues I won't write about as much because the debates are about to start. However, I do think that the Two Party system has run it's course. They no longer represent the interests of the majority of Americans. Rather they represent the moderate vote and corporations.
I'm disappointed that the Democratic Party is unwilling to offer a candidate who is unafraid of left issues. I'm disappointed that Kerry was the man selected to run for President because he is only marginally better than the horrible President Bush. I honestly can't figure out how any Republican could be happy with this hapless fuckup. I can't see how Democrats could be happy with Kerry. The Republican and Democratic Parties have let me down.
Part of what really upsets me about the Democratic Party is they refuse to address issues, in part because of the restrictions of the two-party system. They would rather fight for the moderate vote and hope the left will continue to vote for them. Issues like corporate malfeasants (the government continues to duck on this by prosecuting people like Martha Stewart for fibbing instead of corrupt CEO's who committed frauds on millions of investors and cost the country billions of dollars and unspeakable goodwill); a single payer health system should and could exist in America (I believe that it's a fundamental right to have health coverage); the environment needs fixed and fossil fuels have become a big problem -- especially with the respiratory diseases that come from our fossil fuel consumption; electoral reform; and the horribly corrupt and bloated criminal justice system that does need to be revamped.
I would rather have Kerry in office than Bush. However, my vote is going to be given to either Kerry or Nader. The reason I would think about Nader is because at this point my vote is just a statement. Historically and currently Kansas has always voted Republican. I can either make a statement with my vote that I am not happy with Bush by voting for Kerry, or I can make a statement to the parties that I am not happy with what the two parties are offering.
My vote, at least at this point, is going to go to show that I am unhappy with the Democrats and believe in more of the issues Nader is willing to discuss.