Let the campaigning begin. With the State of the Union address, President Bush has clearly begun to put out ideas that do little, yet will placate many moderate voices and buy votes. The State of the Union address was less about actual policy, and more about building up actions taken by the President — or events that occurred under his watch.
Bush gave his tax cuts credit for the economic recovery. While we may be in the beginning of a recovery, we still have a long way to go. As Sen. Kerry pointed out after the speech, a recent administration goal to create 250,000 jobs produced only 1,000. The stock market has recovered because companies have laid off enough workers to become profitable. And if this administration wanted to speed up recovery they would have given tax cuts to the lower and middle classes and not the upper class.
Bush played up the international involvement in our war in Iraq. Even if Great Britain or Pakistan’s government support us, American forces are still left with the majority of the burden. We do need support, and disregarding world opinion will not give us that. The reasons for the war were characterized as moral. In actuality, they were about political convenience. Morally, Saddam should have been overthrown in the 80s before we armed him and allowed him to use chemical weapons on Kurdish villages.
Many promises were made regarding health care. Ideas like tax-free health-savings accounts, and health care premium deductions would be a step in the right direction. Though they will still fail if drastic government funding is not put behind them. While more people will get insurance, many will still go uninsured.
Republicans claim to stand for smaller, more efficient government that allows the people to use their own money as they see fit. If that were what they really stood for, I would be a card-carrying member. The Bush agenda may give people their money back, but freedom is the cost.
The “sanctity of marriage” is not the venue of the government. Marriage is defined by one’s religious beliefs and those beliefs are what law should protect. Religious charities should be given equal opportunity at social service grants, but the idea of government sanctioned “faith-based initiatives” is merely a sugarcoated attempt at establishing a state endorsed religion.
The Patriot Act may help stop terrorism, but it allows for violations of the First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth amendments even for those who are not terrorist suspects. Ben Franklin said it best, “Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.”
The president spoke contemptuously about the “status quo.” He then maintained the validity of laws that infringe upon personal freedom for the sake of maintaining that status quo. If we continue to elect officials that pass and uphold laws that prevent this country from living up to its creed, then what exactly is this so-called “war on terror” protecting us from? I think President Bush is absolutely right in saying that the status quo will always have its defenders — he is one — and should be looked at with contempt.
Brian Chatman is a sophomore news editorial journalism major from Fort Worth.