Thomas Sowell wants voters to stop and think!
While many people are urging us to vote -- regardless of for whom, for what, or for what reason -- there are very few urging us to do what is far more important: Stop and think!
Voting is not a matter of personal expression but a serious responsibility for choosing what course this country will take in the years -- and decades -- ahead.
Seldom have two Presidential candidates presented more starkly contrasting visions of what course to take, both internationally and domestically. But this election is not about John Kerry or George Bush or even about the next four years.
It is about a country at a crossroads and closely divided as to which road to take -- roads from which there may be no turning back for many years. We are talking about our future and the future of our children and grandchildren.
If you don't have the time or the inclination to give that the serious attention it deserves, then it is irresponsible to vote on the basis of watching a couple of men exhibiting their debating skills or watching TV anchor men spin the news to suit their politics -- or watching the shouting matches between spinmeisters on what are charitably called "discussion" programs.
If there are issues you care about, there are records of how John Kerry voted on those issues in the Senate and what George W. Bush did on those issues as President and as Governor of Texas before that. Never mind how they talk now. Look at what they did when it was time to put up or shut up.
The reason that there was a Vietnam war in the first place is that France would not grant Vietnam independence after World War II, as other European colonial powers granted independence to their colonies in Asia and Africa.
This gave the Vietnamese Communists a chance to pose as freedom fighters and fool people inside and outside Vietnam -- including John Kerry, who referred to Communist dictator Ho Chi Minh as the George Washington of his country.
Only after being decisively beaten in what was then called French Indo-China did France pull out, leaving it up to the United States to try to defend those Vietnamese who wanted to be both independent and not living under a Communist dictatorship.
John Kerry dismissed "the mystical war against communism" in his 1971 book The New Soldier, where he also said, "we cannot fight communism all over the world." He added: "I think we should have learned that lesson by now."
Ronald Reagan didn't learn that lesson. He did fight communism all over the world -- and he won, no thanks to John Kerry, who repeatedly voted in the Senate to weaken our military.
As for the war in Vietnam, Kerry's 1971 book said, "we are more guilty than any other body of violations of those Geneva Conventions." Any other body would include the Vietnamese Communists, to whom deliberately murdering civilians, torturing and raping were all in a day's work.
More than a century ago, John Stuart Mill warned about people who "take part with any government, however unworthy, which can make out the merest semblance of a case of injustice against our own country." But Mill probably never dreamed that such a person would somebody be a candidate for President of the United States.
Stop and think what it would mean to have such an irresponsible man as President before you go into the voting booth on November 2.