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As Long as We Remember...

July 8, 2005

Due Diligence

Chris Charuhas

Most Americans voted for the president a few months ago because they thought he’d done a good job leading our country in the “war on terror” and would make us more secure against terrorists. That’s because they hadn’t done their due diligence.

“Due diligence” is a business term that means finding the truth about something you’re going to buy or invest in. Doing due diligence can take some digging, because sellers sometimes try to obscure what they’re really selling.

In the last presidential election, doing due diligence was necessary to cast an informed vote. The incumbent waged a media campaign to push false assertions about Saddam Hussein’s ties to terrorists and mass-destruction weapons. At the same time, his administration took pains to hide its mistakes fighting actual terrorists. The press mostly played along.

Many people couldn’t or wouldn’t dig for the truth. Consequently, they cast their votes based on incorrect information. Like a businessman who neglected his due diligence, they didn’t get what they paid for. What they wanted was a good leader making our country safer. What they got was the opposite.

In the Middle East, we’re losing:

Citizens who did their due diligence, Republicans and Democrats alike, thought these sorts of things were likely to happen if the president were reelected. In examining his first-term, they uncovered many reasons to believe that things would get worse in his second term.

Diligent citizens knew that the president pretty much ignored terrorists before 9/11:

Diligent citizens knew that after 9/11, the president fought terrorists incompetently: •

Many Americans want to believe that the president is a good leader, but wanting to believe something doesn’t make it true. Despite the administration’s happy-talk, lies, and secrecy, the war in Iraq will continue to go badly. The situation there will underscore what due diligence showed last year, and the previous year, and the year before that: we’ve got an incompetent “war president.”

It’ll take a strong commander-in-chief to pull the United States out of the hole that our current weak one is digging. To limit the damage, he should be removed from office before his term expires.

Failing that, let’s be more careful next time around. In the next presidential election, let’s all do our due diligence before we vote.

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