These days it seems there is no room at the inn for Americans who choose to view public issues on a case-by-case basis, without pre-conceived policy or political prejudices. And that's too bad because there are a lot of us, wanting (and needing) to be heard.
Here's how we feel on some key issues:
On George W. Bush: Many of us believe he is president because his father was. But then John F. Kennedy probably reached the White House largely because of his powerful dad's willingness to buy power. I see little difference between the two.
Overall we believe the president has performed well in tackling problems unique to his time in office -- an inherited economic house of cards and a new era of physical threats to the U.S. homeland. We figure his tax cuts have stimulated the economy, but we're iffy on the rest of his domestic political agenda, or lack of it. Still, we look at the field of Democratic presidential challengers and gauge them either unelectable, too liberal or both.
On Iraq: Some of us believe there was probably a rush to persuade the world that weapons of mass destruction were an immediately gathering danger. Smoking-gun evidence may never be found. But we are also weary of the media's fixation on the "circumstantial" nature of the U.S. case to the world. Isn't most evidence in courts of law circumstantial? And aren't most news reports pieced together with anecdote, opinion and sometimes disconnected facts? Isn't that circumstantial?
We're glad the world is rid of Saddam Hussein, but we still seek an honorable and workable escape from Iraq. We would also smile on a plan to convert Iraq's growing oil revenues into a payback for U.S. efforts to liberate that nation. The U.S. already gives away plenty of tax proceeds across the globe. Why not loan Iraq money against future oil proceeds?
On the media: We still believe the press has a liberal bias. But we also recognize that even some moderates and conservatives are getting tired of the countervailing, prototypical right-wing talk shows. Some of these news-talk heroes are getting too flush with bravado and self-esteem. We would watch more "straight news" TV broadcasts, but these producers and anchors are trapped in their self-regulated kingdom of effete snobbery. The end result for viewers is plain old boredom.