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Last Updated: Monday, 6 September, 2004, 09:13 GMT 10:13 UK
Voters' views: Gary Webb
In the run up to the American presidential elections we will be asking a panel of BBC News Online users to share their views. Here, we asked them for their opinion on last week's Republican convention.

Laura Stietz
Laura Stietz:
Sidney, New York

Neil Sherman
Neil Sherman:
Germantown, Tenn.

Jorge Caspary
Jorge Caspary:
Tallahassee, Florida
Corey Harrison
Corey Harrison:
Chicago, Illinois

Nancy O'Leary Pew
Nancy Pew:
Seattle, Washington

Gary Webb
Gary Webb:
Sacramento, C'fornia

Gary Webb

MEET THE PANEL
Gary Webb
Name: Gary Webb
Age: 48
Lives: Sacramento, California
Works: Writer
Current voting intention: Non-voter
In 10 words or less:
"Author and responsible anarchist"

I have rarely got angry while watching a politician speak before, but George W Bush managed to make me furious.

We have some of the biggest budget deficits in history yet he accuses John Kerry of being a "tax and spend" liberal.

The war in Iraq has been a disaster in every way, a lie from beginning to end, yet he still pretends it's been an overwhelming success and promises more of the same.

Many of his domestic proposals sounded good, but it was hard to square them with the fact that he's been president for four years and hasn't done any of them - even though his party controls Congress.

His solution to our economic ills is absurd: rein in "frivolous lawsuits" and get rid of government regulations.

Our panel - Where they live

If life were only that simple.

I can't imagine anyone who has glanced at a newspaper recently hearing that speech and coming away with anything but bewilderment - or anger, as I did.

John Kerry may not be a perfect candidate, but at least he has both feet planted in reality.


Send us your comments on Gary's views using the form below.

People demonise Bush too much
Debbie Curnes, USA
I was always told that if you don't vote then you have no right to complain about who gets elected. I like to complain too much not to vote. I will vote for Kerry but I think people demonise Bush too much. Your only solution seems to be to do nothing.
Debbie Curnes, USA

My prayers are with Americans, and I hope the sense and sensibility voiced by Gary diffuses through the rest of the population. As a Canadian where social justice and sustainable practices come before the capitalist agenda - at least most of the time - I am often left scratching my head (as are a lot of us social democrats) how the same mistake could be committed twice by the majority of Americans. The world looks aghast upon this sorry excuse of a "democratic" reign which has resulted in the isolation of America from the rest of the world. How on earth could the election even be close?
Shirin, Vancouver, Canada

I don't want to sound melodramatic but please Gary, for the sake of the wider world, vote! Non-voters forfeit the right to be furious about anything, get out there and try and change things, even if you feel you're voting for the best of a bad bunch!
Nick, London, UK

John Kerry's head is in the past. Bush has a vision which is something other than "I served in Vietnam" (for 4 months).
Nate, Wichita, USA

If every person who currently won't vote would vote, Kerry might have a chance
Charles Alans, San Diego, CA, USA
Gary, I hope you read this again. So many people have been urging you to vote, and I really think you should. It does seem that Bush will win this election, but if every person who currently won't vote would vote, Kerry might have a chance. My mom used to not vote, but now she's determined to unseat Bush. Come on Gary, help get rid him.
Charles Alans, San Diego, CA, USA

If Gary abstains from voting in November he is actually casting a vote for Bush. As a veteran, I am disgusted with people that want all the protections and benefits of our great nation but do not contribute to the process.
Bob Rossi, Farmington, MI, USA

I tuned in momentarily to the Republican convention and I found it surreal that there were people lapping up anything and everything that George Bush said. There were people making a mockery of the Purple Heart in the name of campaigning - veterans should be appalled. The mess Bush has created in Iraq is unforgivable. Vote and get rid of him!
Lesley Hartley, Ontario, Canada

Gary, please, it won't hurt to suspend being an anarchist for a few minutes this November to vote. Not doing so might hurt the rest of us out here in the world! Give it a shot.
Akram, England, UK

If you don't vote, why trouble yourself doing an analysis and having an opinion?
Luis Paredes, San Salvador, El Salvador

Kerry doesn't appear to want to do any work until he's in trouble
Jenna, Harrisburg, IL, USA
John Kerry has "both feet planted in reality"? This is a guy who spends the week of the Republican convention windsurfing, then the Sunday after sailing and "taking the day off". This after falling behind Bush by 10 points. He doesn't appear to want to do any work until he's in trouble. If he can't lead his campaign, how can he lead our country?
Jenna, Harrisburg, IL, USA

The comments of Jenna of Harrisburg, IL, are so off base. Doesn't she know that opposing candidates are not allowed to campaign during the other's convention? Even John Kerry deserves a few days off. George Bush has had four years off, as far as I can tell, leaving us in the hands of Dick Cheney.
Jane Kelly, St Charles, MO, USA

Jenna: Bush has spent more time on vacation than any other president in the history of the United States. He has repeatedly left office to kick back at his Texas ranch or travel to various other locations when he should have been leading the nation. If you cannot begrudge Kerry one or two days of relaxation during the RNC (remember, Bush was in Crawford laying low during the DNC) but can somehow overlook Bush's reluctance to do his job then you are truly blind to the defining characteristics of each candidate.
John Klepack, Rochester, USA

Actually, Jenna, Kerry was observing a long-standing tradition of not actively campaigning during the opponent's convention. Bush did the same during the Democrats' convention. This highlights part of the problem. There are far too many voters like Jenna and Laura Stietz who lack the knowledge, perspective and curiosity to look beyond the Republican diet of sound bite-delivered sophistry to satisfy their naive political appetites. Fortunately, the Gary Webbs out there give me some hope! Let's hope there are enough of them (and in the right states).
Brian, London, UK

To John and Brian who are attacking Jenna in Harrisburg for her supposed lack of factual information: I'm sorry, but you yourselves are misinformed. Especially Brian, who claims that Kerry was observing the long standing tradition of laying low during an opponent's convention. If that were the case, then Kerry wouldn't have broken said tradition by holding a pep rally minutes after Bush finished his speech (which Kerry did in Ohio). It wasn't as if Kerry vacationed because of unselfish tendencies. Instead, Kerry completely dropped the ball by underestimating his opponent. Jenna is right, in that Kerry has trouble running his own campaign and would not know which way is up in running the country.
Lisa, Wisconsin, USA

I hope you vote. I was a non-voter myself. We need to get Bush out of office!
Anna DuBois, Sacramento, California, USA

I agree with Gary. And precisely because of his views I think he should go out there in November and become a voter. It's necessary to do something and voting against Bush will definitely help. Otherwise, Gary (and all of us) will have to keep our anger for a few more years because sadly Bush is leading this race. The entire world would like to be able to vote in this coming elections, but we can't. So please Gary, it's your chance, do us a favour and vote.
Irene Soler, Brighton, UK

After reading the sharp criticism that Gary Webb of Sacramento had towards the speech of George Bush I found it very disconcerting that he will not be casting a vote in the coming election.
John Callaghan, Los Angeles, California, USA

Gary, Bush's speech made a lot of us angry. Hopefully enough of us to vote him out in November. Your use of the word "absurd" was proper for summing up Bush's entire presidency.
Jamie Kelly, St Louis, USA

This man has his head in the right place. It's hard to say much about what he said except that I agree with all he has said, and the last line was the most important one.
Alex Pike, England

Furious and a non-voter? You're a big part of the reason Bush is there now. Surely now you're angry enough to do something about it. Vote!
Shon Davies, London, England





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