[BlogEntry] To my surprise, I'm coming to appreciate the man for whom I voted

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I have to confess that my support for President Bush is not nearly as enthusiastic as it might have appeared during the campaign. I'm no blind follower. It's almost exclusively motivated by the threat of terrorism and the fact that he recognizes that danger more clearly than John Kerry does. Other than that, I've viewed him as just another politician, and I've probably even bought some of the scandalous propaganda about him. I just considered it to be secondary to keeping America safe from terrorists.

However, the two times that I've truly sat down and listened intently to him when he wasn't campaigning, when he was just speaking from his core, I've been surprised to find myself impressed by what I found inside the man.

The first time was when he was on Larry King a few months ago. I wrote about it here. Admittedly, this was part of the campaign, but he was simply sitting and talking with Larry and his wife. He was very genuine, very honorable, and very sharp. No spin, no politics. Just straight talk.

The second time was tonight, when I watched the TiVoed press conference he held earlier today with the White House Press Corp. Again, I wasn't really expecting to be impressed, but I was. I'm finding myself feeling a renewed sense of hope, even though this wasn't a feel-good, touchy-feely kind of press conference. I just recognize that we have a pretty good leader at the helm.

Despite the trouble he has assembling English sentences at times, I found him to be a refreshingly real, determined, and sincere man with a mission to improve this country to the best of his ability. I got a sense that I was seeing a great man come into his own. I think all of us may be very surprised by what great things he may do for this country in the next four years. In fact, it occurred to me that we may see a dramatic shift in the what we come to expect from our politicians after Bush's second term. We may hold them to more honest, bullshit-free standards than we've come to expect from Washington, D.C. over the years. You would never hear George W. Bush say "It all depends on what your definition of 'is' is."

I know that if you're a liberal, a skeptic, a cynic, or someone who simply relishes in hating George W. Bush, you'll have a very hard time hearing or buying what I'm saying, but I'm telling you, if you can drop your defenses for a moment and try to put aside all the propaganda you've been fed and swallowed about him, you'll find a decent, honorable man who knows how to get things done and is committed to leaving this nation and this world in better shape than he found it.

It's so easy, when you're feeling unhappy about the result, to twist every sentence to something negative like "sure, leaving it in better shape for himself and his oil cronies." Well, try to let that cynicism go for a moment, and you may actually find that you can see a real person with good intentions shine through. Don't buy into all the lies.

I wasn't always a red-state guy. I was born in Brooklyn. I used to be about as liberal as they come. I can easily put myself in your shoes. But, I'm telling you, what you've been told about this guy isn't true. It's a smear campaign. Just listen and watch him, and you'll see it. He's not a smooth-talking politician. He's a good man trying to do good work, knowing that half the country and a lot of the world doesn't like or understand him. That's a pretty tough job.

Look at it this way. If Kerry had been elected, you would have thought that any Bush supporter who couldn't see what a wonderful man he was was either blind, stupid, or just bitter. You would tell them to stop whining and recognize the man for who he is. Well, try to rise above your negative filters, the same way you would have expected people who voted for Bush to do if Kerry had won.

This is still the same great country it has always been. You may actually find that you come to respect and appreciate the man that you have invested so much time and energy in hating.

I feel confident that you can trust Bush not to trample everything you hold dear. I just don't believe that's what he's about. And even if you do expect him to do that, why not wait until you actually have some evidence, before just buying into the smear campaign that's been waged against him. If you really examine the facts, I don't think you'll find anything that warrants the accusations and lies. If you really do, I'll be right there with you shouting about it, but so far, I just haven't seen anything real.

All we are saying is give Bush a chance.

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