My Endorsement:

The exclusion of Joe Lieberman from the recent presidential debates seems to have doomed his candidacy. Of the nine Democrats currently running, and the others who might consider running, he was the only one that I believe could have saved the party from electoral disaster.

The Honorable Senator Zell Miller endorsed George W. Bush in early November. Zell and I represent the same wing of the Democratic party--the James Jackson wing. Even so, I have held off following in the good Senator's footsteps, in the hope that the Democratic party might be saved.

I still hope it might be, but I do not think it will be in this election. It may be that, in the aftermath of the loss the Democratic party is racing toward, the survivors will finally be willing to listen to their Southern cousins when we say, "The party of the American people must love America with all depth and purity of heart; for the American people do. The party of the American people must trust the American people with their freedom and their money; for the American people trust themselves." Not this time, but perhaps the next.

I might have waited longer, but today a man did something brave, to warm the hearts of fighting men. Consider our President:

With the president out of sight, L. Paul Bremer, the chief U.S. civilian administrator, told the soldiers it was time to read the president's Thanksgiving proclamation and that it was a task for the most senior official present.

"Is there anybody back there more senior than us?" he asked. That was the cue for Bush, who promptly stepped forward from behind a curtain, setting off pandemonium among the troops.

"I was just looking for a warm meal somewhere," Bush joked to some 600 soldiers from the 1st Armored Division and the 82nd Airborne Division, who were stunned by the appearance and applauded wildly while giving Bush a standing ovation.

"Thanks for inviting me. I can't think of finer folks to have Thanksgiving dinner with than you all."

That it was courageous to take Air Force One into Baghdad only a few days after the DHL flight was attacked goes without saying. That it was the right thing to do, to greet our fighters as they spent a lonely holiday on a distant front, goes likewise. What impresses me is not that; it is the humor. A brave but stern man can be terrible. A jolly coward is useless. A brave man with a laughing heart, though, is a man indeed.

In light of this act, I have now no more trouble than our Senator had in endorsing George W. Bush for re-election to the Presidency in 2004. Zell Miller was correct, as he usually is: Bush is the right man, at the right time.

Let us be thankful to have found him. Enjoy the holiday.

No comments: