By Pete McCloskey
Although I'm a lifelong Republican, I will vote for John Kerry on Nov. 2. The choice seems simple under traditional principles of the Republican Party.
The primary issue in November will be who can best lead us in the bitter struggle against the Islamic fundamentalists who perpetrated 9/11 and are willing to die to kill Americans throughout the world. The Iraq occupation has caused thousands of new suicide bombers to join the jihad against us; with Kerry as president, the nation will properly refocus the battle away from Iraq and against the true enemy, Al-Qaida.
As Kerry has stated, we desperately need the cooperation of every country in the world, friend and enemy, where terrorist cells can germinate and operate.
We need to be more humble in asking for this assistance. A return to the ``speak softly but carry a big stick'' philosophy of Teddy Roosevelt should be far more effective than the bluster, bravado and ``shock and awe'' firepower of the neocon advisers who have commandeered White House foreign policy.
In truth, John Kerry and John Edwards come far closer to the Republicanism of Teddy Roosevelt, Earl Warren, Barry Goldwater, George Bush the elder and, yes, even Richard Nixon, than does the present incumbent.
Ending secrecy and bringing truth and honesty back to the White House are reasons enough to elect Kerry and Edwards.
PETE MCCLOSKEY represented the San Francisco Peninsula in Congress from 1967 to 1983. He earned a Navy Cross, Silver Star and two Purple Hearts as a Marine rifle platoon leader during the Korean War. He wrote this column for the Mercury News.
That's what I've been saying. Bush is no Republican.