Reason #2 Not to Vote for Ray Meier: Ray Meier is Soft on War Criminals
I want to talk about a basic test of moral values in this campaign. It shouldn't even be an issue, but there are some very radical ideas being tossed around in the offices of the Republican power elites in Washington D.C. these days.
I'm a Democrat, but I'm not so partisan as to deny that there are plenty Republican politicians who are basically decent human beings, and try to do the right thing, even if they are misguided in their ideology. This week, Republican Senators John Warner, Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Susan Collins showed good moral character when they joined the Democrats in the Senate to support a bill that opposes a plan proposed by George W. Bush.
Bush's plan proposes an end the right to a fair trial in America and would make torture a legally sanctioned part of law enforcement in the United States. No kidding. On Friday, Bush actually threw a tantrum before television cameras and said that if he couldn't torture prisoners in secret prisons, he wouldn't be able to do his job any more. That's a claim that no President has made before - not Roosevelt during World War II, and not Lincoln during the Civil War.
I wish I could say that's as far as President Bush's proposal goes. However, it gets even worse. Part of Bush's proposal is to coddle war criminals. Bush says that Congress should pass a law giving permanent amnesty to people who break the laws of war to abuse prisoners of war.
We Americans ought to take a moment to step back and remember why the laws of war were created. They were put in place because regimes like that of Nazi Germany were using war to do terrible things to human beings. Americans were among the victims.
Now, George W. Bush is saying that America ought to let its standards slip. Bush is saying that if people behave like Nazis during war time, that's just the way things go, and nobody should make a big deal about it.
This is a simple moral issue that George W. Bush has presented all Republicans with. I don't mean that to say that all Republicans are responsible for Bush's effort to go soft on war crime. Rather, I'm saying Republicans around the country are now being challenged to show what kind of Republicans they are. Will they stand with John McCain or will they stand with George W. Bush?
Here in New York's 24th congressional district, we have the right to ask this question of Ray Meier. What kind of Republican is Ray Meier? Is he a Bush Republican or a McCain Republican? Does he support Bush's proposal, or does he support McCain's proposal?
Does Ray Meier support George W. Bush's plan to coddle war criminals?
The people of the 24th congressional district have spoken. They don't agree with this vision of going easy on war criminals. A huge majority of people in our district reject the Bush agenda's plan to allow standards of basic moral decency fall apart.
However, on this matter, Ray Meier is silent. Can you believe that? Ray Meier wants to be elected to the United States House of Representatives, but he refuses to say whether he thinks that the Geneva Conventions ought to be abandoned or not - even though Congress is working on the issue right now!
If a Republican candidate for Congress disagrees with the positions put out by the leader of his political party, in this case the President of the United States, it is the responsibility of the candidate to speak up and say so.
Ray Meier's silence is its own answer.
While the government is working on a plan to offer unconditional and permanent amnesty to criminals, Ray Meier does nothing. He says nothing. He doesn't even ask any hard questions. He just stands on the sidelines, letting other people take responsibility.
Ray Meier fails this moral test. Ray Meier is soft on war criminals.
That's just reason #2 out of 30 not to vote for Ray Meier.