If I haven't said it before, I'm voting for John Kerry. I voted for Al Gore in 2000, and was sorry he wasn't allowed to serve. I was dubious about Bush, then cautiously optimistic, then horribly disappointed. I don't believe Bush is an idiot. (I'm a Yale man myself.) I do believe that his agenda reflects the needs of a small percentage of people in this country, and that that group of people includes a very small number of the folks who will vote for Bush, convinced that he is doing good for them.It's likely that Bush has helped my pocketbook, so you can see that I'm voting my conscience. I don't want more money from the government. I want more fairness. I want human rights upheld. I want to be able to travel the world with my head held high. I want no more lies. I want a president who doesn't believe everything he says is divine wisdom. I want a president who isn't apocalyptic--who plans for the future instead of The Rapture. This isn't about Iraq. It's about equity. John Kerry will try, at least, to bring back a balance that reflects what people really want. This study shows that a good majority of people surveyed who plan to vote for Bush mistake his stated positions. For instance, "74% believe Bush favors including labor and environmental standards in agreements on trade." If people voted by policy instead of politicians, Kerry would win in a landslide. John Kerry may not be everything this country needs, but I trust that he will avoid giving money to people who don't need it, strengthen workers' rights for a livable wage and good working conditions, and improve health care for everyone. In following his history and his campaign, he has so much more to offer us as a chance to move back into a middle ground in which we can all participate instead of polarized ends in which most of us are disenfranchised. It's been said before, but when the ACLU and the NRA join hands, you know there are plenty of us being left out--not just liberals, leftists, radicals, and left-of-centerites, but most of the folks who aren't super-rich, neoconservative, or fundamentalist Christian. We live in a great and terrible nation. We need to de-escalate our international posture, resume engagement in the community of nations, and back off from discretionary wars. I owe this post to seeing my good friend Jeff Carlson post his reasons.