Sept. 11, 2001, is not a political issue

Let’s elect someone who can lead this nation through all of the challenges we face today.

When national or personal safety is threatened, it is vital to have someone in charge that is cool, calm and collected. When the Japanese hit Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt again became the very strong, unfaltering leader he had been throughout the Great Depression. It was Roosevelt’s ability to lead this country that made him popular with the voters. But did Roosevelt use his strength as a leader in a time of crisis to further his own political career, as our current president is now doing?

As the nation reeled from the most deadly attacks on the United States’ soil since Pearl Harbor, we looked to our current leader, President George W. Bush, for guidance. In his speech immediately following the attacks on the World Trade Center, Bush assured the U.S. people, “The resolve of our great nation is being tested. But make no mistake: We will show the world that we will pass this test. God bless.”

One of his most moving speeches came that evening when he declared, “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America.” It was through his proclamation of the strength of this nation that the people of the United States saw a leader.

But to use this day as a demonstration of his leadership seems wrong, as thousands died that day. What right does he have to use those tragic deaths to further his political career? National security is a political issue. Sept. 11, 2001, is not.

As Election Day 2004 draws near, the voter must decide if Bush is fit to lead this country at this time or if a change is needed. We must look at the job market, education, Medicare and other important factors to make this critical decision.

However, we must also ask ourselves if we can support a man who has built his campaign around a day of terror. To prove he is leadership material, he should not only use additional material, but he should also focus on what he plans to do about the other hardships facing the U.S. people.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry’s primary focus is not just one issue, nor is it centered on Sept. 11. He has plans for national security, education, the economy and homeland security, as well as other matters of key importance. He

does not focus on only one troublesome aspect facing the citizens; rather, he addresses all of the issues of significance. Through his array of topics, he has proven he can be a leader who can deal with a multitude of tribulations.

So Bush is by no means Roosevelt, but the potential is great for Kerry to rival Roosevelt’s greatness. One must ask what type of person is better for this serious job; someone who demonstrates his leadership through a variety of agendas or someone who focuses his attention around the one, terrible day he was able to successfully unite the U.S. people and lead.

This November is one of the most critical election periods this nation has faced in quite some time; let’s elect someone who can lead this nation through all of the challenges we face today.

Beth Klein is a guest columnist. She welcomes comments at [email protected]