Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

For Experience, Focus, Vote Gore

I know my own imperfections. I know that sometimes people say I’m too serious, that I talk too much substance and policy.

But the presidency is more than a popularity contest. It’s a day-by-day fight for people.”

As Al Gore concluded his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles this summer, he acknowledged that he would not be the most exciting president of the United States. In our age of mass-media saturation, however, many Americans treat the serious and important race for the presidency of the United States as a competition for the president of their high school student body.

We, as voters, must focus on the real concerns of this election: experience, focus and issues.

Gore is by far the most prepared, intelligent and experienced candidate for president. In 1992, Gore completed a distinguished career in both chambers of Congress and proved himself more than just the son of a senator by tackling vital but often unpopular issues such as the environment and arms control. For the last eight years, Gore has proved to be one of the most active vice presidents in our history. Simply put, Gore has the knowledge and political intelligence to be president of the United States.

In sharp contrast, George W. Bush spent the 1970s and the majority of the 1980s floundering in the world of Texas oil. The son of the then-vice president, Bush used to say “I’m all name and no money.” While Gore was fighting for his constituents in Congress, Bush finally got sober in 1986 and was bailed out of his failed oil business by his father’s supporters. Following his term as the CEO of a Major League Baseball team, another opportunity afforded by his family’s name, Bush was elected governor of Texas.

In his six-year experience as a public officer, Bush has watched as his state led the nation in uninsured citizens, ranked second-to-last in children’s health insurance and ranked first in a frightening array of toxin- and carcinogen-release statistics. Admittedly, Bush has surrounded himself with a competent group of conservative advisors. But from confusing the details of his own economic and social programs to stumbling over the names of major international leaders, Bush has displayed an alarming ineptitude concerning national and international issues over the last few months on the campaign trail.

Bush shrugs these disturbing gaffes off with a laugh and a charming smile, but he does not have the personal experience or political intelligence to be elected to the supremely important position of president of the United States.

Gore has pledged that, upon his inauguration, he will first push for the bipartisan effort to free our political system from the shackles of interest groups and money. As record amounts of money are being pumped into American politics by wealthy investors and corporations, the individual political voice in our democracy grows weaker with each election. In today’s political climate, the only way for even the most upright presidential candidate to succeed is by raising millions of dollars from the rich and interest groups.

Gore is the only electable candidate offering to take steps to remedy this glaring national problem. Gore proposes a ban on the unlimited “soft money” donations to political parties as the first step in returning our democracy to the people. In sharp contrast, Bush opposes a “soft money” ban. A Bush presidency would continue the trends of stripping political power from the individual voter and granting the wealthy and large corporations an increasingly large voice in our government.

Following the crippling budget deficits and recession of the Reagan/Bush years, we now enjoy the longest economic expansion in our country’s history. Gore’s responsible fiscal and social policies will continue this prosperity and help those not yet touched by it. Sensible tax cuts for middle class families, affordable health care for all Americans and a focus on improving our public schools are all major concerns of the Gore campaign.

I do not trust Bush and his trickle-down economic policies with our nation’s prosperity. Bush proposes a broad, irresponsible tax cut plan in which the most affluent one percent of Americans receive over 40 percent of the benefits. His enormous cut for the wealthiest of the wealthy is an unwelcome return to the supply-side Reaganomics of the 1980s that led to massive budget deficits, a staggering national debt and repeat recessions.

The next president will probably nominate three to five new Supreme Court justices. Gore supports a woman’s right to choose regarding abortion and he will appoint supporters of civil individual liberties to the Court. Bush, on the other hand, has declared an anti-choice stance and has said that he most respects the ultra-conservative Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

Only one of the two electable candidates will lead our nation for the next four years. Liberals enthralled by the rhetoric of Ralph Nader should realize that a vote for Nader in this election is unfortunately a vote for Bush and his staunchly conservative party.

Gore is an intelligent, experienced candidate who stands for responsible fiscal policies, campaign finance reform, affordable health care, tax cuts for those who need them, sensible gun reform and reliable environmental policies. The choice in this election is clear: Al Gore.

Peter Denton is a sophomore in the College.

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