The Bush's America claims to be pro-democracy and the champion of human rights the world over. In recent years, Venezuela, Palestine, and Bolivia have all held democratic, legal elections and instead of working with the new governments in a spirit of diplomacy and optimism, the U.S. has taken that stance that democracy is only acceptable if we determine the outcome.
On the domestic front Bush declares that there are winds of hope blowing across America, largely due to his leadership. Under his watch the rolls of the uninsured and those living below the poverty line have risen dramatically. Americans need to rethink how we look at the less fortunate. These are hard working citizens, toiling at two jobs just to make ends meet and hoping that no one gets sick. The savings rate in the U.S. last year was actually in the negative.
His Medicare prescription plan has proven so confusing that our senior citizens spend hours in special classes just to understand it and still come out wondering what hit them. His American Competitiveness Initiative has the potential to be the next great under-funded education program, much like the No Child Left Behind Act.
George Bush talks of a "civil tone" and of "goodwill and respect," but Bush and his minions have repeatedly called into question the patriotism of anyone who disagrees with their policies. Instead of respect, the Bush administration has issued ultimatums to foreign countries. He condemns the terrorists, using religious labels.
If we fail to see the offense in those statements, we forget how we cringe when a criminal is identified as a member of the LDS Church or hear the term "Mormon Fundamentalist" bandied about in the media.
George Bush got one thing right. America is full of courageous people and it will take all of our courage, moral strength, and conviction to face the future. We indeed can succeed, not on the back of the less fortunate and not with a sense of superiority, but with the honest ideals that were set in place long before the Bush administration took power.