For years now, Democrats born in traditionally Democratic states with strong Democratic leaders have begged for a candidate who could run for the presidency and win without scandal and baggage.
Bill Clinton was a great leader and a great president, but his personal life made America want a breath of fresh air in 2000. Not even the Boy Scout-like Al Gore could survive the backlash of the Clinton era. In one of the narrowest elections in history, the Democratic Party saw its best chance for lengthy control of the White House dissolve with a candidate who could not win his own state.
Fast forward to 2004, and we are a different nation. Before the Bush-Gore election, few people knew who Osama Bin Laden was. Even fewer knew the names of Saddam Hussein’s sons. The economy was already in a recession but we didn’t know, and the world was about to be rocked by the deadliest terrorist attack North America had ever seen.
In these four years, we have learned that most of the other nations of the world despise us for our prosperity and would like to take our way of life away from us. They blame our failing moral compass and use it to excuse their actions. The reality is that we do not teach children to become suicide bombers and we do not take it lightly that people live in poverty. They do. They claim they follow Allah, and Allah has pushed them to do these things. There may be some demon in hell named Allah that is pushing these leaders, but this is certainly not the same Allah my father-in-law worships.
We have learned that Islam has not attacked us. Evil men attacked us in the name of Islam, much like Christian radicals murder abortion doctors, but on a greater scale. President Bush has responded, not by attacking Islamic capitals like Mecca or Medina, but by cutting off supplies to Al Qaeda and by removing Saddam Hussein from power. All leaders should have the clarity Bush possesses.
In these past few years, we have learned that an economic boom is followed by an economic downturn and then economic boom again. The Clinton presidency was the largest era of economic growth this nation has ever seen, largely due to the actions of President Reagan before him, but Clinton’s genius was he didn’t try to fix what was working and his “hands-off” strategy on the economy made him one of the most popular presidents of all time. It would stand to reason that eight to nine years of boom would be followed by eight to nine years of decline, but our economy is recovering, largely due to the tax cuts on all levels.
While some scream about the tax cuts on the highest levels, these people create jobs and industry. Freeing up money for them to create new wealth only helps in the end. If we tax the Gross National Product at 20 percent rather than 25 percent and that results in the economy growing faster at a rate of 5 percent, it will only take 10 years for the economy to make up the tax loss at the lower rate, and from there on out the economy will produce more with a lower tax rate. Bush knows this as well. It is simple mathematics if we cut wasteful spending such as the National Endowment for the Arts and other mindless hobby-horses of ultra-liberal senators.
Finally, we have learned that we should know our allies and enemies. England, Spain and many others were willing to back us to force Hussein to follow through with his end of an agreement with the U.N. However, Germany, France, Russia and Canada refused. Canada would not be such a big deal except it is a neighboring nation.
We have learned the power of the American economy to inflict retribution on an enemy. According to U.S. News and World Report, France has seen a 50 percent reduction in tourism.
So what does this have to do with the primary, you ask? Very little. Our nation is strong, our president is a man of value and leadership, and our direction is proper. I am a Democrat, but I will stand up and say I will be voting for President Bush on Election Day.
James Kutkowski, Daily Mississippian, University of Mississippi