Why You Should Vote For George Bush For President
A funny thing happened on the way to the 2004 presidential election… We took a side trip back 35 years to the Vietnam War and the late 60s-early 70s. When John Kerry decided to center his campaign around his four-month tour of duty in Vietnam (as evidence to his fitness for command in a time of war), he reopened old wounds not healed by time, but rather simmering just below the surface all these years.
John Edwards is right. There are two Americas; but, in this case, the Height-Ashbury vs. the Silent Majority and bringing Vietnam up again, has re-ignited the culture war debate in a time of war.
Oh yeah, there’s the war on terrorism, sort of forgotten in the discussion about Vietnam and Swiftboats; Iraq and weapons of mass destruction (WMD); multi-colored alerts and political timing; Fahrenheit 9/11 and Abu Ghrab; MoveOn.org and 572 groups; Rush Limbaugh and Fox News and Florida 2000.
And George Bush’s presidency is at the epicenter.
When George Bush was elected in 2000, there were some who believed that his "compassionate conservative" theme would result in an "uneventful presidency." Because the Cold War was over, and as the Clinton years proved, foreign policy adventures would be of the United Nations peacekeeping kind, and Bush’s domestic policy would be minor conservative initiatives.
The events of 9/11 changed everything. Bush launched a series of controversial and aggressive domestic and foreign policies that has changed the way the United States deals with terrorism. Meanwhile, taking a page out of Clinton’s book, George Bush also launched a series of domestic policies that have been traditional Democratic Party platform staples in education and prescription drugs.
So let’s take a look at his major policy accomplishments and what his plans are for the future.
President Bush’s crowning achievement bipartisan education bill is the No Child Left Behind Act. Co-authored by Senator Ted Kennedy, the Act calls for higher standards and accountability for schools and students and pushes for a closing of the gaps among various socio-economic groups. It also increases federal funding for elementary and secondary education by 49% from 2001-2005. The bill also calls for reading programs to ensure that every child can read by the third grade.
For parents, funding for tutors for low income families whose children attend low-achieving schools and a pilot school choice voucher program for the District of Columbia.
Likewise, the Republican platform calls for an expansion of the school voucher program for all parents of low achieving schools.
On the environment, Bush has proposed his Clear Skies legislation designed to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and mercury by 70% over the next 15 years. In addition, he has proposed and passed legislation to restore many of America’s wetlands. He has also signed bipartisan legislation to clean up hazardous waste sites.
Centerpiece of the GOP platform is reducing greenhouse gases by 18 percent by 2012 in conjunction with sustained economic growth.
Finally, Bush signed the Healthy Forest Initiative to restore the overall health of forests in America’s public lands while clearing out dead undergrowth which is the primary catalyst for the destructive forest fires so much of the West has suffered over the past few years.
Bush’s greatest accomplishment is the first major health care program since the creation of Medicare/Medicaid, by creating the Prescription Drug Benefit plan under Medicare, making prescription drugs more affordable to over 40 million seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare.
Bush has created Health Savings Accounts to give Americans options in their health care services. This is important to many Americans who want more control over their health care and money.
President Bush made tax cuts the center of his initiatives when running for office in 2000. He delivered on those promises, a rare thing for a politician, by cutting tax rates for the lowest paid in our society and many in the middle class. He also decreased the tax rate overall, decreasing the top rate of 39% to 33%. This resulted in infusing the struggling post 9/11 economy with immediate cash and the economy responded. He also increased the child tax credit by $400 per child, raising it to $1000 per child, providing help to many parents. The attacks on 9/11 struck a difficult blow to the American economy, which was one of the primary goals of the terrorists. By taking immediate action in the form of tax cuts and other policies, President Bush has helped America to recover. At this point the unemployment rate remains a low 5.4%, which is lower than the 5.6% of the economic boom in Clinton’s reelection year, 1996. The poverty rate, while slightly higher this year, still remains well below the rate in the 1990’s. Every month since March new jobs have been created, from a low of 32,000 to a high of 300,000. President Bush continues to promote business friendly policies that will result in even more jobs in the next few years. It takes 2-4 years for a president’s policies to affect the economy. With the attacks, it has taken longer for Bush’s policies to gain speed. Now that we are beginning to see their promise we can be more encouraged where a Bush second term would lead us.
Interest rates remain at 40-year lows; home construction and buying remain at all-time highs. Also, the stock market, which became an economic barometer during the Clinton years, is once again consistently above the 10,000-mark threshold, even after the dot com bubble has long since burst. Bush’s policies are pro-growth and pro-family as consumer confidence remains high and families will continue to see their tax burden reduced as his tax cuts policies continue for the rest of the decade.
The war in Iraq is probably the most controversial subject that is discussed during this election year. There are those that assert that Bush knew there were no WMD and went to war against Iraq anyway. To this assertion many questions must be raised. Why, if Bush knew there were no WMD, did the UN look for them for over 12 years? Why did President Bill Clinton repeatedly fire missiles at Iraq when they would not allow weapons inspectors in the country, one time joking that the military was running out of missiles they had fired so many? Why did Saddam, if he had nothing to hide, refuse to let inspectors in his country, and when he did let them in his country, he would not allow them in certain places? Saddam Hussein is without a doubt, one of the most evil dictators of our time. He used chemical weapons on his own people, as a form of torture and to test them. He jailed thousands of his own people for simply speaking out against the government. He even jailed his own son and had him tortured when he was displeased with his offspring. There is no question that Iraq is better off without this madman at the helm. In encouraging democracy in Iraq, it is hoped that the entire Middle East area will stabilize and will stop housing terrorists. If these vulnerable countries know that they can count on the U.S. they will begin to stand up to these overgrown bullies.
The most puzzling thing coming from the far left is the statement that the war with Iraq has made the world less safe and encouraged more terrorism. This argument is as seductive as it is illogical. Consider: a set of stores is being terrorized by a neighborhood protection racket; they come in and break a few things (as an example of what could happen, if they don’t pay for "protection"), and they hold the business hostage. One day, a owner comes in and his store is trashed (setting the "example" once again), only this time, the store owner goes over to the local gang’s place and begins to smash up their place, and beat up a few of their goons. The rest of the storeowners, instead of being thankful, berate the storeowner for doing this. "You don’t understand. You put us all in danger. Now they will take it out on the rest of us. There will be more to come from other places to put us back in our place. Oh, why didn’t you just pay the protection money, and leave things as they were? It’s just a little mess to clean up."
It never occurs to these other businessmen to live in a world without a protection racket. Indeed, some owners have learned how to profit from their relationship with the gang lords.
However, this store owner knows that these gangs are not confined to one neighborhood, they are everywhere, so he not only goes after others that have threatened his neighbors, he also goes after the same gang that has plagued other neighborhoods. He brings the fight to them and fights it on their turf, and they are losing.
The same is true in Iraq, Afghanistan and with al Quaeda. We have liberated Afghanistan, and they will hold their first democratic elections early next year. We have liberated Iraq, and they have an interim government that represents all of Iraq’s people. We have eliminated a safe haven for al Quaeda in Afghanistan, and are currently working to root them out of Pakistan. Libya has turned over their WMD programs to the UN. Iran is allowing inspections of their nuclear program to make sure it is for energy and not weapons production.
We are taking the fight to them, and they are losing. If you want to win the war on terrorism, you have to eliminate the breeding ground for it, and that ground shares a lot in common with Nazism, fascism, communism and the other forms of evil that have plagued the 20th century. A place where ignorance and racial/cultural repression exist and scapegoats can be found. Democratic states will do much to change the tide and reduce the numbers of terrorists.
As NY Times Columnist Thomas Freidman has states, it is a fascinating experiment taking place, and one we can ill-afford to fail. The other side offers very little in a change in the policy, except (like the storeowners in the above example) wish we would have left everyone alone and left the status quo in place. Their solution is to get the other nations, who were not interested in disturbing the status quo, to somehow join in. They will not because they did not when Clinton tried to get them to deal with Iraq in the 90s, and they will not with a Kerry administration. They have their own agenda, and much of it runs counter to our own national interests. The Bush doctrine is a bold, new agenda, which, if successful, will transform the Middle East just as the Reagan policies toward the former Soviet Union transformed Eastern Europe.
It is easy in our technological society to find information regarding both candidates, what they promise, what they stand for and what they have accomplished. It is important for all citizens to inform themselves and vote. With President George Bush, what you see is what you get. The man has clear convictions, which is he not afraid to state, whether or not it is painful for the public to hear. He delivers on the things he has promised as a result of those convictions. He promised a tax cut; he delivered. He promised to go after terrorists; he delivered. He promised that he would not cut and run in Iraq after removing Saddam Hussein from office; he delivered. George Bush believes in the American people. He believes that the people, their organizations and charities can do things better than government. He believes in putting more money in the hands of the people in order to strengthen the economy. He does not believe that people to need to be dependent on government, he believes that people can stand on his or her own.
I support Bush, because he is a decisive leader who is willing to take the unpopular stance because he knows it is right, much like President Reagan did 20 years ago. Like Bush, Reagan’s policies were extremely unpopular with Europe and the Left in America. Fears of a nuclear war epitomized in the TV movie "The Day After" were commonplace, as were the protests. Now, two decades later, one can see how right Reagan was, and we were reminded of that during his funeral earlier this summer. As George Will opined, it is what you don’t see, that was Reagan’s legacy. Such will be the same after a second term of Bush. His successful war against terror will be his legacy.
This article was written by Debbie (A.K.A. allies mom) with the blessings of her fellow Republican, Bush-supporting friends.