I think you're right about that. It's impossible to go back to those isolationist days.
So... You all know Kerry is a completely unworthy candidate, but you guys back him anyway because you think Bush and the Christian right will take us back to Medieval times. That's pretty wacko, but whatever.
jorge016, remembering back four years ago, I recall the race for President having much to do about "character". After the scandal of the Clinton Presidency (which should have been downplayed by both sides, IMO) voters wanted someone with "character". I think Al Gore is 10 times the man that Kerry is, but he was unfairly tainted by the fallout from Clinton and lost. I don't agree with his populist positions most of the time, but at least he stakes his ground and lets the voters know what they're voting for. OTOH, the desperate shenanigans Kerry and the DNC is pulling right now are harmful to the democratic process.
Bush has "character". He was governor of Texas. He developed a reputation for working well with both sides. He had some significant policy achievements in Texas. He surrounded himself with competent advisors and a strong VP candidate. IMO, he was well qualified and it has shown in the strength of his leadership. Even if you don't agree with what he's done, you have to admit he is strong.
BTW, 2x6's post above - that Arab culture won't sustain democracy - reminded me of more parallels with the Civil War. The Yanks did not think freeing blacks was worth spilling their own blood. They thought that if the blacks wanted freedom, then they should free themselves. They thought that the blacks were inferior.
But, if Bush is re-elected and democracies in Iraq and Afghanistan flourish and widespread long-term changes occur in the Middle East that improves the lives of the entire world - how will history view Bush? If we elect Kerry, and withdraw from the world, allow evil regimes to thrive, weapons to proliferate, corrupt int'l bodies to subjugate our nat'l interests and those of the masses in the 3rd World - how will history view US?
I had my doubts about democracy in the Muslim world until I saw the Afghans walking miles and braving violence (especially the women) in order to vote. Those people must think that voting is really, really important.
If that is universally true, then the threat to democracy in the Middle East doesn't lie in some inherent deficiency of the people, but in the viciousness of their tyrannical rulers. That, and the efforts of their religous leaders to control the people and resist modernity. While you guys want to wage war on our relatively benign Christian right, we would be better off tearing down Muslim fundamentalism.