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Bush, Cheney merit four more years.

We started this new millennium celebrating the heroism of the "Greatest Generation," remember? The ideal of America as the world's liberator, its selfless men and women leaving homes and families to fight for freedom on distant shores still a point of pride but a remnant of history. America's wars were being fought on the front lines of a global economy. Technology meant the world was growing smaller. America's place in the world? Smaller still.

The attacks of Sept. 11 changed all that, but they didn't change the character of this country. Rather, that day we were reminded of who we are and what our nation must be in the world.

And a president narrowly elected on a platform of reinvigorating a smaller yet compassionate government, averse to "nation-building," immediately adapted to this fundamental re-ordering of priorities. And George W. Bush has never looked back.

Nor can we as a nation. While we prospered at home in the last decade of the 20th century, we too often ignored and even emboldened enemies abroad. Never again.

Because we responded to the horror of Sept. 11 with resolve not remorse, with courage not timidity, we have no doubt that history will record this era as the dawning of a new 'greatest' generation of Americans--led by a good man who became a remarkable president.

With all of that in mind, the Boston Herald proudly endorses George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for re-election.

And while we are in the unusual position of doing so in the face of the candidacy of a native son, our choice was not a close call.

Certainly, both John Kerry and George Bush love this country. Both are men of good will, deep faith and vast intellect. But only one would never sacrifice principle for political advantage. One of these men says he craves the respect of the world. The other by his words and deeds commands it.

Kerry's shifting positions on the Iraq war are troubling. But it's his 20-year record of voting to weaken this nation--voting against the first Gulf War, gutting intelligence and defense programs, and maintaining a long-held belief, even after Sept. 11, that terrorism is a law-enforcement matter that renders him unfit to serve as commander in chief.

John Kerry, who has served this state well in the U.S. Senate is in his bid for the presidency simply the wrong man, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

President Bush is the right one. He carries the badge of a police officer killed in the World Trade Center in his pocket. And he carries the profound responsibility to honor the lives lost on Sept. II by protecting the homeland "whatever it takes" on his shoulders.

Certainly, Bush did what any president would have done after Sept. 11. He went after al-Qaeda by invading the country that harbored its leaders, he relentlessly hunted down the masterminds of the attack, toppled the Taliban and freed the Afghan people.

For some that would have been enough. But it would have meant America would be no safer today than it was on Sept. 10. And we may already have had to dig out from the rubble of another terrorist attack.

So Bush took the political risk of his life by invading Iraq because he was NOT willing to risk the lives of more innocent Americans at home. And he did it with the support of a coalition of willing, courageous leaders from other nations. Under George Bush's leadership, we deposed a brutal dictator intent on attaining weapons of mass destruction and put a man in prison who hated America with the same kind of ferocity that sent hundreds of thousands of his own people to mass graves.

But we are also safer today because the kind of "homeland security" Bush demanded was more than a reshuffling of administrative boxes. Today it's a vast array of laws and programs and grants to communities now so a part of the landscape we hardly notice them. Today we live in a vastly changed world, where risks are "assessed" minute by minute, because the man in the Oval Office demands it.

Today we are economically more secure because a real leader knew the key to economic recovery was to give working Americans back more of their own money.

And today our future is more secure because the No Child Left Behind Act meant just what it said. and a new generation will be better prepared for tomorrow because of it.

George W. Bush has been in part shaped by the times through which he has had to govern. But he, in turn, has helped shape those times.

And we are proud to stand with him.

[c] 2004 Bell & Howell Information and Learning Company. All rights reserved.
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Title Annotation:Boston Herald; George W. Bush; Dick Cheney
Publication:The Masthead
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2005
Words:796
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