Thursday, October 28, 2004

The bottom line in Tuesday's election

Your voice: Matthew E. Cahill

A divided nation will soon choose its president and its direction for the next four years. I am obliged to answer the question Ronald Reagan asked America during the 1980 election: "Are you better off today than you were four years ago?" Most would agree the answer is no.

During the last four years, our nation has endured the following:

• The worst attack on our nation in history.

• Huge surpluses slated to repair Social Security transformed into record deficits.

• Skyrocketing costs for fuel, college and health care.

• Strained relations with our allies and lost prestige worldwide.

• Rigid positions on social issues that have further divided our people.

• A war in Iraq and all of the manpower and resources it consumes.

Some say these problems are not President Bush's fault. But if a president can't control or influence these outcomes, than what does it matter whom we elect? Terrorism is not an American problem; it is a danger to the entire civilized world. I'm not certain how you totally defeat it, but I am certain you can't do it alone. Bush is a good man who rallied our nation after 9/11,and he will always have my respect and gratitude for it. But unfortunately, his overall record speaks for itself.

John Kerry proposes ideas and changes that many believe are needed. If he's elected and fails to live up to them, America will notice and he will be gone as well.

Our founding fathers did not tell us to be Republicans or Democrats. They told us to be Americans and never put too much faith or power in the hands of our leaders, but rather hold them accountable to the people.

This election, we can vote our fears or our hopes. Regardless of the outcome, I hope our nation once again becomes united and looked upon by the world with the respect it deserves.

Matthew E. Cahill of Maineville is a husband, father and small business owner who has lived in Greater Cincinnati for nearly 25 years.

Send your column or proposed topic, 400 words or fewer, along with a photo of yourself, to assistant editorial editor Ray Cooklis at rcooklis@enquirer.com; (513) 768-8525.

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