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Hitting Below the Beltway: Why Bush KOs Kerry in the South

The following post is by John T. Plecnik, John is a twenty-year-old law student at Duke University and Executive Editor of The Devil’s Advocate. As Policy Advisor for the Duke Chapter, John authored the first-ever statewide platform for the North Carolina Federation of College Republicans.

Over the years, the new South has chosen a new Party; Republicans have converted the Democratic Dixie into “God’s country.” Those donkeys that remain behind the Mason-Dixon Line are forced to change sides (i.e. U.S. Sen. Zel Miller of Georgia) or play conservatives on television (i.e. Gov. Mike Easley of North Carolina). More and more governor’s mansions and senatorial seats are falling to the GOP. President George W. Bush is set to sweep the South. Not even young, ambitious trial lawyers can stop us. To play off the favored cliché, the South will rise again…but this time we stand by the Party of Lincoln.

Simply put, from colonial Virginia to sunny Florida and coastal Carolina, millions of conservative, middleclass Southerners are preparing to vote their conscience and their wallets. Guess what? By our estimation, Bush wins either way. Whether selflessly concerned for the future of our families, or worried over maintaining economic growth, U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-M.A.) fails the global, err, Southern test.

We demand morality from our leaders. In direct contravention of his purported faith, Kerry promotes partial birth abortion. The Catholic Church unambiguously denounces taking the life of an unborn child. Several bishops have even begun to refuse Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicos. Perhaps if Kerry were to renounce Catholicism, his position would be more understandable. As it is, the man touts his allegiance to a faith that embraces the culture of life, while voting for the culture of death. Ultimately, the future of the American family depends on winning the culture wars over abortion, gay marriage, and secularism. Such future also rests on decisively winning the war on terror.

On that point, we demand resolve from our leaders. For lack of better terminology, Kerry is a flip-flopper. Over the summer, I interviewed U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) asking: followed by Sen. John Kerry, you supported the use of force in Iraq. Since then, few weapons of mass destruction were found and there have been many American casualties. Kerry claims that if he knew then, what he knows now, he would not have supported the war. With your current knowledge, would you have voted for the war? Without mincing words or trying to divert responsibility, the congresswoman answered, “Yes.”

Weeks later and with the benefit of hindsight, Kerry seemed to change his position—then supporting the decision to go to war. Needless to say, I was somewhat peeved by the short shelf life of the senator’s statements—the interview became outdated. However, these concerns were soon allayed as Kerry swiveled back to an antiwar message. My column could be republished.

Some calculate the running total of Kerry’s flip-flops on Iraq at nine. I must confess that I lost count some time ago. Suffice to say, one position more than one is one position too many.

Bottom line. Southerners do not trust Kerry to remain steadfast in prosecuting the war on terror. He has followed polls, not principles. Though Kerry’s positions may change, his weak character will remain.

On the economy, Kerry promises to pay for countless new governmental programs by raising taxes on the rich. To the undiscerning Massachusettean, this sounds wonderful. Most Southerners, however, have identified at least one problem with the Kerry plan. To quote a recent ad by the Club for Growth, “Trouble is: [Kerry] thinks you’re rich.” Whether you receive social security, hold down a job, or drive a car Kerry has tried to raise your taxes. Call us crazy, but Southerners tend to be more than a little skeptical of an old Massachusetts liberal with a thirty year record of advocating tax hikes on the poor and middleclass.

At a time when our economy is slowly progressing towards recovery, an inefficient tax and spend program could reverse the positive trend and devastate every market sector. Consumer confidence, stock exchanges, and small businesses would all take a hit—how large is hard to say. Clearly, though, our economy does not need another negative as it crawls out of the Clinton recession.

Even Southern Democrats are starting to promise tax relief. The people have spoken. Southerners want the freedom to spend their own money and live their own lives. Kerry has chosen to reject Southern values, and the South has chosen to reject his campaign.

During the Democrat primaries, Kerry announced that he could take the presidency without winning a single Southern state. As it stands, Kerry-crats had better hope their liberal superhero was right…