Bush loses former supporter on issues of missile spending, religious right
Dear President Bush: I am writing to you as a retired citizen who is economically conservative. I was a great admirer of your father during his presidency when I thought he did a brilliant job in assembling the coalition for the first war against Saddam Hussein.I voted for you for the presidency in 2000 and have since defended you against ad hominem attacks by my liberal friends and acquaintances. Now I have to decide how to vote this year.I have some concerns. The first is that you are backing the development of antiballistic missiles.About $60 billion of the taxpayers’ money went down the drain over President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, which most technically trained observers predicted to fail from the very start.I was one of them and I actually worked for a short while at the SDI National Test Bed at the Falcon Air Force Base where I saw what a boondoggle the whole project was. The U.S. wasted about $60 billion on the failure of SDI and we are likely to waste a comparable amount on its scaled down successor.The antiballistic missile program in any case does not address our current threats.Secondly, to my horror, you are supporting NASA’s intention to send a manned space flight to Mars. The first manned space flight to the moon cost $20 billion and produced almost nothing of scientific or technological value. The moon cost project will cost orders of magnitude more for similar unsatisfactory results.But my main concern is that you are pandering to the religious right. These people, whom I regard as Neanderthals, are threatening our educational and scientific progress and values. Your alliance with them jeopardizes the support that you could have expected from more centrist conservatives such as myself.I probably will not support the Democratic Party with its radical left-wing elements, but right now I may abstain from voting on the presidential ballot and there are many like me. I would suggest that you move your policies to the center. A good start would be to cease opposing stem cell research.
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