To those who know me best, this may seem out of character, but I miss George W. Bush. The 2016 election and Donald Trump makes me feeling nostalgic about the 2000 election and the choice of candidates.
I certainly have my qualms giving any sort of support to former President George W. Bush, but he does deserve it. Ezra Klein, Editor-in-Chief at Vox wrote an interesting article titled “This election isn’t just Democrat vs. Republican. It’s normal vs. abnormal.” He argues that this election represents a pivotal point in American democracy, one where United States citizens have to choose between a steady hand and a loose cannon. It probably goes without saying, but Donald Trump is the candidate which I am referring to as the latter.
This article is being written before election night. As of right now, I do not know if I will be referring to the next president as sir or madam, but one could surely infer my preference.
Donald Trump is nothing like the candidates that the GOP has put forth in the past. John McCain, Mitt Romney, and George Bush have all had a very different path to making America great than I foresee being effective. Yet, I would never question the fact that they had the nation’s best interests in mind. I cannot say the same for Donald J. Trump.
The New York Times recently compiled a list of the “Clinton and Trump Revealed: Best Investigative Reporting on the 2016 Election.” In this list there are headlines such as: “Republicans’ Desperate Mission to Stop Trump”, “Trump’s Encounters With Women”, “Trump University, the ‘Fraudulent Scheme’”, “Advisors Fail to Tame Trump’s Tongue”, and “Trump Properties Turned Away Black Tenants.” There are also reports of scandals about Hillary Clinton: “Clinton Foundation Creates Complex Foreign Ties,” and “How Clinton’s Email Saga Begins.” However, in my opinion, these show a misstep. By contrast, the reports on Trump showcase a blatant disrespect for the well being of others.
According to FiveThirtyEight’s “Polls Plus” Presidential prediction model, Clinton has 65.3 percent chance of winning the presidency, while Trump has a 34.7 percent chance.
I am not scared for my own sake; as a straight white male, I will probably be unaffected by a Trump presidency. That much is not true for my friends of various minority groups. How can a man who has spoken with such degrading lewd language about women, as revealed by the “locker room talk,” be expected to be a role model for our children, or stand up against sexual assault? How can a man who repeatedly threatened to ban all muslims from the United States represent the United States and fight against religious oppression abroad? I could go on, but most people have probably already read this argument elsewhere. (If you want a list of insulting things Donald Trump has said on Twitter, please read The New York Times article “The 282 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter: A Complete List.”) I am not refreshed by the fact that Trump refuses to filter comments like this. His rhetoric is dangerous, and if he had the power of the Oval Office, who is to say he’d stop at tweets to voice his disdain of those who oppose him.
Another abnormal thing for Donald Trump are his endorsements, or lack thereof. It’s typical for newspapers to endorse candidates. In a regular election, where both parties put forth qualified candidates, left-leaning newspapers endorse Democrats, and right wing papers, Republicans. The Washington Post reported that Donald Trump’s endorsements from newspapers are few and far between; “Donald Trump collected three more newspaper endorsements on Sunday — nice pickups for a candidate feeling momentum near the finish line but also a reminder of just how rare it was for the Republican presidential nominee to earn a publication’s support in this election.”
Without the endorsement of many journalists, Trump relied on his support from public figures. But the political elite class, both Democrats and Republicans, also have a distaste for Trump. Only 15 Republican elected officials have endorsed Trump. None of the living U.S. presidents have endorsed Trump. Both Bushes, W. and H. W. have abstained from an endorsement of Trump, despite a historical precedent to do so. Yet, as I alluded to before, Trump is quite different from Bush. One was a man of conviction and public service, the other, ego. Our 43rd President was typical and controlled, Trump, not so much.
In order to showcase the differences between a typical candidate and Donald Trump, please indulge in reading how Lindsey Rocco wrote about George W. Bush in 2000 for The Point News. This is an unedited copy of her article; it makes me jealous of a simpler time, where the election was about policy, not scandals.
“Imagine an America whose government lets its citizens keep their hard-earned money. Imagine an America where the kids are the best educated in the world. Imagine an America where citizens need not fear foreign foes, because the military is strong, well equipped, and the best in the world. Imagine an America where the American dream is lived out every day because people are happy, healthy, and prosperous. Imagine a president who truly cares about each and every American citizen, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.
This Vision for America is the platform for the Republican Presidential nominee, Texas Governor George W. Bush, and his vice-presidential running mate, Richard (Dick) Cheney. Bush says, “I’ve got an agenda that says we’re going to elevate the individual in America, not empower the government. I trust the individuals with making decisions in their own lives.”
Here are his stances on some of the major issues.
Education: Bush’s key issue is education. He said in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, “Too many children are segregated into schools without standards… shuffled from grade to grade because of their age regardless of their knowledge, and this is discrimination, pure and simple… We should end it.” In order to end it, Bush wants to ensure that every child in America will learn to read. To implement his plan, Bush believes that the federal government should allocate money, and leave control, to the states. Bush also believes in school choice and vouchers for private schools. Laura Bush, his wife, was a teacher in Texas for many years, and she will use her role as first lady to promote literacy, as did her mother-in-law, Barbara Bush.
Taxes: Bush believes that one quarter of the surplus should be returned to the taxpayers through tax cuts. If not, the government will spend more of your money. His plan promotes economic growth and increased access to the middle class by cutting high marginal rates. It will also double the child credit, and expand education savings accounts and charitable deductions. Bush will eliminate the death tax and reduce marriage penalties. The largest cuts will go to the lowest income earners. An estimated six million families will no longer pay federal income tax under the Bush Plan.
Social Security: Contrary to popular belief, bush does not want to eliminate Social Security, and he will not change any benefits for those nearing retirement accounts. But for the future retirees, Bush will lead an effort to create personal retirement accounts, which would allow people to invest some of the money that is taken out of their payroll for social security taxes. That money would then belong to the people, not to the government.
Healthcare: Bush wants to make healthcare affordable to everyone. He has a plan to make affordable healthcare accessible to low income families by providing a 2000 refundable health credit so that they can purchase their own insurance. He will allow state more flexibility in designing and implementing programs for the uninsured.
Environment: Under a bush administration, the federal government will play a strong role in protecting the environment and our natural resources. However, state and local communities will have more authority to implement programs on their own. And the biggest polluter, the government will be kept in check as well.”
The Point News does not formally endorse any candidate. This article solely represent the views of its author.