This week, I had intended to write about the record price we're paying at the pump or the most recent ACLU lawsuit aimed at removing crosses that have been placed at two federal veterans memorials. Both of these issues will most likely be the subjects of future editorials, but instead, I am switching gears and find myself inclined to address a very touchy subject, the War in Iraq.
What inspired me to write on this subject was an Associated Press article I read this morning. The headline immediately jumped out and grabbed me: "President says public opinion supports his Iraq strategy." I couldn't believe what I was reading. It appears that the President is completely out of touch with what Americans thinks about his presidency and the ongoing war in Iraq.
President Bush's approval rating is at an all-time low and sinking fast. On all accounts, those who are polled point to the war in Iraq as one of the main factors in their dissatisfaction with the job the president is doing. In a recent Gallup poll, only 18 percent of those polled said they felt positive about the direction the country was going. This same poll also revealed that 28 percent of Americans considered themselves Republicans and 33 percent Democrats. For the first time in history, over 40 percent identified themselves as Independents, which reveals America's dissatisfaction with party politics as usual.
Instead of disregarding the opinions of average Americans, politicians would be wise to heed the common sense approach favored by the majority of Americans. Most U.S. citizens, including myself, are sick of the extremes played out by both parties and their seeming inability to find compromise. Americans are eager to elect public officials who listen to them, represent their values and champion policy that makes life better for the average citizen.
Bush's recent interpretation of public opinion couldn't be more wrong. By stating that Americans want the War in Iraq to continue makes our president seem isolated and out of touch. The vast majority of Americans do not want the war to continue even though Bush describes these war detractors as only "a handful." In poll after poll, Americans say they are more interested in getting out of the war than winning it. Bush seems determined to listen to his small circle of advisors rather than listen to the will of the people who elected him to office. Billions have already been spent on the war, too many lives have been lost and little ground has been made. It is time to establish a real plan to withdraw our troops from Iraq.
In saying this, let us make one thing clear. We support our military men and women and are incredibly proud of their willingness to fight in this war to preserve the freedoms we enjoy in this country. They deserve our support and our admiration, but it's time to bring them home.