Changing minds one at a time. The Wall Street Journal, apparently tired of seeing Kerry win every debate poll, altered the question last night to a pretty good one: "Have the presidential debates changed your decision about whom you'll vote for?" As of now the results are yes 24% (!) and no 75%. Here are some of the post-vote comments from readers (each paragraph is from a different person):
I am a registered Republican who voted for President Bush's father. I have decided to vote for John Kerry because of his views on how to involve the rest of the world in important decisions which affect Americans as well as other countries. George W. Bush sees everything as black and white when the reality is gray. We need to find other countries with similar problems and involve them in our solutions. I can't imagine why we went into Iraq and after Suddam Hussein when there are 30 other countries with similar leaders! At this rate, we will have to take out leaders of North Korea and Iran through preemptive force.
I'm voting for John Kerry because I believe he will lead honestly and strongly making us more secure, safe and fiscally stable where President Bush has not.
Tonight Bush showed himself as a fool. Ignorant of the present situation of this country, and with no idea of how to improve the situation in the future. He tried to reassure us by making the same promises that he has failed to live up to these past 4 years. Kerry spoke eloquently and with knowledge about the problems of this once great country today, and presented a plan through which we can once again live up to the potential this country has. With Kerry I know that America will be heading in the right direction, and not led, as Bush said, by special interest groups (was he talking about himself here?).
I was disappointed that President Bush did not reply directly to the questions. He seemed to relate to particular points that he felt he needed to get across and didn't have the confidence to bring the points forward in a more dramatic or forceful way.
Boy, what a great job John Kerry did tonight in the final presidential debate. He has the right plan to get us out of the several messes Mr. Bush has dragged us into including war in Iraq, 2) homeland security, 3) jobs, 4) the economy and 5) health care. On all fronts, John Kerry knows what needs to be done and Mr. Bush is just a deer caught in the headlights.
The debates reveal a president in grave trouble, and without any appropriate doubts or reservations. On the question of faith, neither candidate spoke of the virtue of prayer as a way to reflect on our errors, and neither man spoke adequately of the way religious beliefs lead us to question our motives and correct our failures. But Kerry is nevertheless believably reflective. Bush, on the other hand, mistakes the appearance of unwavering commitment for the reality of leadership. His attacks sound cocky, sometimes a bit snide. Kerry's attacks are tough, but they are directed at the substance of policy. As an ethics teacher, I'm shocked by a leader refusing to accept responsibility. We have a President who is a poor example to students of how to deal with our mistakes, how to negotiate with our opponents, how to educate supporters and constitutuents. I hope he does not prevail.
The debates confirmed for me what I suspected about the two candidates. I feel Kerry is the more intelligent and the more able to run the country effectively, both in terms of the domestic agenda and in terms of foreign policy, restoring the high place the US had in the world.
I will now vote for John Kerry, an articulate, intelligent man who will get our country back financially as well as our good name in the civilized world. Bush had his chance, he was selected in 2000, but is too absorbed with his own intelect and got us into a war without a clear solution for peace.
Those are just the first ten of 127 messages like it.
For a conservative newspaper, that's a downright shrill, un-American group of readers. Either that, or it truly is time for regime change in the United States of America.