Gone are the days of the Clinton administration — when government was the least exciting part of the evening news and politics was reduced to sex scandals.
Today we have a different kind of president. Regardless of your political views, it is not unreasonable to say that George W. Bush is charting America’s destiny with clear-cut views and confident decisions. It is no surprise that in his State of the Union address, he described America as “confident and strong” with every intention of making that label accurate. During his speech he set up an aggressive foreign and domestic agenda, jam-packed with controversy yet filled with promise for our great nation and the rest of the world.
The president emphasized America’s unique and special role in the world. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the world expected America to shrink into the fabric of the international community, but instead Bush has moved to grasp America’s opportunity. We are asserting our power across the globe to rid the world of tyranny and oppression.
Regardless of your opinion on weapons of mass destruction, it has been good for Iraqis and Afghans to gain freedom, and as Bush said, “We will no longer live in fear of rogue nations.”
The world should be supporting us in this quest, but many countries lack the backbone for the hard work America has undertaken. According to the president, “America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our country.” Many fear this will lead to American imperialism, but this is not what Bush seeks. “We have no desire to dominate, no ambitions of empire. Our aim is a democratic peace — This great republic will lead the cause of freedom,” he said.
Domestically, the president reinforced things that have been the emphasis of his administration: choice and accountability. The Bush tax cuts are designed to allow people easier access to the stock market and simplified retirement savings. Allowing people to invest (half of American households do on their own enables people to determine their own destiny instead of depending on the decrepit Social Security system.
These concepts of choice and accountability have also inspired Bush’s healthcare agenda, which has more options in Medicare. He has also campaigned to let small businesses form innovative shared-insurance plans, and create a tax-credit that would allow millions to buy their own health insurance. These programs allow Americans to do what they do best: Solve their own problems. Bush knows that the easiest and most efficient way to solve our domestic problems is to encourage American ingenuity. Handouts and government programs are not the answer.
In his State of the Union speech the president challenged the nation to follow him. America has responded. The economy is on the rise, American diplomacy is bearing fruit. Citizens are being given the choices they ought to have about their economic futures. I can see another four years of excellent Bush leadership down the road.
Tyler Fultz is a freshman history and political science major from Indianapolis, Ind.