Thomas Sowell
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 Democratic Senator Zell Miller's electrifying speech at the Republican convention may overshadow the fact that another well-known Democrat -- New York's former mayor, Ed Koch -- has also crossed party lines to support and campaign for President George W. Bush.
 
Never a shrinking violet, Ed Koch says that he disagrees with President Bush on virtually all domestic issues, but that the over-riding issue of our time is the war on terrorism  -- and that his own Democratic Party doesn't have the "stomach" (Koch's word) for the fight. Mayor Koch understands that if we don't win the war on terrorism, nothing else is going to matter.

 Supporters of both political parties, as well as independent voters, all need to understand what Ed Koch understands: This election is about life and death, in an age when nuclear weapons can be developed and sold to terrorists.

 This election is not even about who will be in the White House for the next four years. It is about a war that must be fought for more years than any given President will occupy the White House.

 Just one weak administration can make the job harder for the administrations that follow -- and disastrous for the country.

 No small part of the audacity of those who attacked this country on September 11th, 2001 resulted from the weakness of the Clinton years, when there were only token responses to acts of terrorism against Americans at home and abroad.

 When the World Trade Center was first attacked, during the Clinton administration, that terrorist bombing by Islamic extremists was treated as a simple criminal matter and swept under the rug. Clinton similarly swept under the rug the bombing of our embassies abroad and bought off the North Koreans by helping them with their nuclear program, in exchange for promises that they never kept.

 It was all about getting bad news off the front page and passing along the hard underlying problems to his successors. But the problem goes deeper than Bill Clinton.

 Since 1972, when the far left took control of the Democratic Party, Congressional Democrats have regularly voted against military spending and against spending for the intelligence services. For nearly two decades, John Kerry has voted consistently against military preparedness and against money for the very intelligence agencies that he now so loudly criticizes.

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Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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