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Storm clouds lurk on the horizon
The storm clouds are growing. You may not see them yet, but they are growing. Oh, I don’t mean the type that form in the last few minutes before bad weather hits. I’m referring to the political storm clouds growing in preview of what could be one of the most important presidential elections in the history of this nation.
Both sides have staked out their positions, and they diverge at many points.
In his State of the Union address on January 20th, President George W. Bush unofficially kicked off his reelection campaign with a vigorous defense of his administration’s policies. From the Iraq War to the Patriot Act to tax cuts to the recent Medicare bill, it was refreshing to hear the President defend these actions against the tired objections of his Democratic opponents.
In response, we saw Democratic congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Tom Daschle, when they weren’t tripping over the teleprompter – and some say Bush is bad on camera – giving the direct opposite view on virtually everything the President said. Pelosi referred to Bush’s foreign policy as “go-it-alone unilateralism” in defiance of the United Nations. The pair then emphasized domestic issues, such as the unemployment rate and the number of Americans without health insurance.
Indeed, there is a profound difference in the ideology of President Bush and the Democrats who want his job. Bush’s Presidency has been defined by his aggressive response to September 11th, 2001, the worst terrorist attack ever to occur on American soil. The President saw that day as a wake-up call to the fact that there are fundamentalist extremists who will do anything in their power to destroy this country. In response, he and his team saw the best strategy as taking the fight to the terrorists and those who support them, wherever they may be.
Bush said, “I know that some people question if America is really in a war at all. They view terrorism more as a crime, a problem to be solved mainly with law enforcement and indictments…After the carnage of September the 11th, it is not enough to serve our enemies with legal papers. The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States, and war is what they got.” Bush also pointed out that he has averted another attack here in the 28 months since 9/11.
The President believes that terrorism is the number one issue facing America in the years ahead and that we must take an aggressive stance, sometimes on our own, to combat it. He has little patience with those who don’t seem to understand the significance of this War on Terror.
On the other side are the liberal Democrats – in case you hadn’t noticed, the Democratic Party has been taken over by liberals. Internationally, they believe in such buzz words as “multilateral” and “international community.” Most Democrats reject the Bush Doctrine of using pre-emptive force to eliminate dangerous and uncooperative threats, preferring to always work within the UN. Some do not even believe or see the seriousness of the broad War on Terror. However, the threat is real, it isn’t going to magically disappear, and sometimes the UN is ill-equipped to combat it.
The other Democratic strategy has been to attempt to shift attention to the domestic front, and make the election primarily about these issues. We’ve heard the incorrect phrase “tax cuts for the rich” about four billion times in the last year. These cuts sparked the economy to unprecedented growth at the end of 2003, but people like Howard Dean want to get rid of them all.