As the reality of the events of 9/11 became clear, my feelings towards Bush started to change. Here was a man who understood just how badly we were hit, and he vowed to do something about it. I came away from his famous "megaphone" speech moved. Perhaps it was because he was pandering to me, but I felt this man had his heart in the right place and understood that we needed to fight for our way of life and our very lives.
I supported Bush fully when he wanted to go into Afghanistan; after all, the Taliban was there, and they helped the terrorists who attacked us. When Bush pressed to go into Iraq, I supported that too, just as I supported Clinton's decisionto go into Iraq in 1998, just as I supported Bush Sr's decision to go to into Iraq in 1991. To be honest, all the anti-war rhetoric being spewed at the time just seemed like partisan nonsense; I definitely didn't recall any anti-war movement in 1998 or 1991, not to mention the endless UN resolutions pointing to Hussein's nefarious endeavors. I recalled the Seinfeld episode in the '90s, in which Kramer almost shits himself when he thinks he sees Saddam Hussein on a city street; everyone seemed to understand that this was one evil son of a bitch. Post 9/11, and with the broken-window theory in mind, such a despot clearly couldn't exist anymore. Yet for whatever reason, the Democrats whom I had previously voted with seemed all of a sudden to have a real problem with our aggression in Iraq. I may not be the smartest guy in the world, but this seemed blatantly and needlessly partisan; disingenuous, especially given the new problem of Islamic terror that we were now dealing with.
Events continued to unfold. The Enron and other financial scandals, the tax cuts. The opposition Bush faced, the blame he received, just seemed completely out of line. Democrats, especially during the Clinton era, seemed to celebrate the private sector. They seemed to understand that increased regulations hurt the economy, that people, and not government, were the solution to the problems we face. But in the 2000s, Democrats seemed to change.
This was no longer the Democratic party of JFK, who believed in strong national security and lower taxes. This wasn't the moderate Democrats of the Clinton era, who after losing the house in 1994, moved to the center, and worked with the other side to help the 90s in one of the great decades of our nation's history. This was a Democratic party that couldn't seem to stand by its own vote to go to war. In fact it seemed to disavow its vote, claiming it was coerced, or that the intel that everyone had was somehow manipulated, laughably, by a smirking George Bush in some back room somewhere. Despite any evidence, Democrats chanted the familiar refrain, that Bush lied and people died. Some went so far as to blame American foreign policy of advancing freedom as the cause of 9/11, and an even smaller minority actually blamed Bush for directly causing 9/11. All the while, our country was fighitng two conflicts against Islamic terrorists and the governments that spawned them.