This November many Americans are faced with a difficult decision. I hope this helps anyone that is confused by all of the political bickering.
In November of 1992, William Jefferson Clinton was elected President of the United States, both by popular and electoral vote by a pretty decent margin over the incumbent President George Herbert Walker Bush. His Vice President, a man named Al Gore. When President Clinton took over the Oval Office in 1993 America was in the midst of many problems. For example, the unemployment rate in 1993 was 6.5%, a ridiculously high number. By the time President Clinton left office in 2000 the unemployment rate was 3.4%. I'm no math major, but I believe that's a lot fewer people unemployed than in 1993. How does this relate to the economy? Well, I'm also not an economics major but I think 3.1% more Americans working is a good thing for the economy. More paychecks going out = more cash flow. America was at peace, in a surplus, and moving forward. And then.
President William Jefferson Clinton got a "Lewinsky". Oh, my. I'm not condoning the President's actions or morals when it comes to his marriage, but apparently he was pretty happy and the effect on America was very positive while he was getting some. This, in my mind, and in the mind of many others was not the worse thing that he did, however. He lied about it. He looked right into the American people's living rooms and lied about it. This unfortunately turned a lot of Americans against President Clinton, and as a result, the Democratic Party. The Republicans took full advantage of this fiasco and beat it like a dead horse all the way to the 2000 election.
So, now we had a choice. Do Americans recognize the good that President Clinton brought to this country, or do they focus on the "Lewinsky"? Do they elect a man that has both served in the United States senate and as Vice-President for eight years? Or do they elect a Texas Governor that has no U.S Government experience, has been fairly (if not totally) unsuccessful at every venture in his life, and whose name is very similar to the last President. Seems like a fairly simple choice, but it hardly was. Al Gore did win the popular vote in the country, however the popular vote doesn't matter. Why elect a leader of the free world based on total votes when you can determine it based on a system that is older than, well, almost anything. So it's over. Well after the whole Florida fiasco, it's over.
George Walker Bush takes over in 2001 and less than a year into office one of the, if not the, greatest tragedies of American history occurs. September 11, 2001. George W Bush can't be held accountable for what happened on that day; with the security structure in place it was practically unavoidable. An opportunity for a great President had arrived. He helped to rally America together and went after a cause that we all could agree on, eliminating terrorists and punishing those that support them. It didn't matter whether you were a Republican or a Democrat, you were an American, and America had a great cause in the world.
And then. Iraq. Whether or not it was a just war, isn't the point. The point is that the way it was entered into was very questionable. Congress gave President Bush the power to send our troops to Iraq should he find sufficient need to do so. He apparently did. So, America started a second war, while still claiming to be focused on one much more important to the American people. More troops, many more troops, were sent over to Iraq than were ever sent overseas to fight terrorism. This was hard to make sense out of for many Americans. Some even went to the ridiculous extreme of saying that if you don't support the war in Iraq, you don't support the troops. One of the more ridiculous sayings I've ever heard. Why? Why did we go to Iraq? The "why" really doesn't matter. Our President lost focus on what he claimed to be more important than anything else, eliminating terrorism. The economy has struggled, and why? Remember that 3.4% unemployment rate from 2000. As of July 2004 that rate is now back up to 5.8%. We're headed on a path to blow right past that 6.5% from 1993. Should we be surprised? We did elect a President without a successful background and with no U.S. Government experience.
There are Republicans that will vote for George W Bush no matter what happens and what is proven because he's a Republican. That's that. That's sad. There are Democrats that will vote for John F Kerry no matter what happens and what is proven because he's a Democrat. That's that. That's also sad. Come November many Americans who have an open mind and take the time to look at the facts will have a decision to make. That decision shouldn't be that difficult. Do we continue to punish the Democratic Party for a "Lewinsky" one Democrat received and all of the subsequent Republican accusations, or do we recognize the advantages America as a whole has with them in office? There are only two paths. One leads us back to a great period in time. I don't even want to think about the other one.
How many wars can we fight at once? How high can the unemployment rate grow? How bad can the economy get? How high will healthcare costs get to be? How many people have to die from horrible diseases, such as Alzheimer's? How many countries can we get to no longer respect us? Let's not find out.
Do America Proud. Vote for John Kerry.