Why on earth should a student not be allowed to read the book of his choice at school, FlyVirgin744? Why, also, should a person not be allowed to pray privately? By doing these things, they are in no way forcing you to participate - they are simply doing their own thing! It's one thing to forbid a prayer in front of a group, such as at a graduation ceremony, but another one all together to say that a student can't practice his own religion privately. Why does it make you uncomfortable to see somebody else reading a book if they are not simultaneously preaching to you? Why does it make you uncomfortable to see somebody pray if they are not making you participate in the prayer? The separation of charch and state prevents the state from advancing religion; it doesn't prevent religion from being practiced in public. If the religious participants are not coercing anybody to participate unwillingly, then they are doing nothing wrong. Saying that they should not be allowed to do their thing because you're not religious is like saying that they should not be allowed to have a french club because not all students speak french.
Now that I got that vented, I will go on as the first here to say that I hope "Dubya" does win. For those who still have no idea what he supports and what his policies are, you can look at www.bush2000.com
to find out. While he is indeed no John McCain, he is the best man running for the job. For anyone he didn't hear any policy in his speech, here are some key excerpts. Perhaps reading will get across what listening did not...
On Social Security:
"...For younger workers, we will give you the option -- your choice -- to put a part of your payroll taxes into sound, responsible investments..."
Bush support giving Americans the opportunity to invest their SS taxes, acheiving the historically higher returns that the stock market has provided
"Too many American children are segregated into schools without standards, shuffled from grade-to-grade because of their age, regardless of their knowledge. This is discrimination, pure and simple -- the soft bigotry of low expectations."
Bush supports an end to social promotion. Students should not move into the next grade until they have mastered the lessons of their current grade level. You can't expect students to pick up the new knowledge that they are supposed to get if they don't have the assumed knowledge base from previous years of schooling.
"The surplus is not the government's money. The surplus is the people's money...we will abolish the death tax...we will reduce tax rates for everyone, in every bracket...we will lower the bottom rate from 15 percent to 10 percent and double the child tax credit."
Bush will use some of the surplus to pay down debt etc., but he supports the common sense fact that a surplus means that the government over-taxed. A surplus is the people's money, and by giving it back, the economy will be stimulated. More people will have more money to spend.
On International Military Intervention:
"Now is the time, not to defend outdated treaties, but to defend the American people."
Under Bush, US troops will not be sent out to police the world; rather, they will be deployed in situations in which the US has a genuine interest. Further, US troops will never be put under UN control - they will participate in UN actions only when the US maintains control of our people.
On His Tenure As Texas Governor:
"So we improved our schools, dramatically, for children of every accent, of every background. We moved people from welfare to work. We strengthened our juvenile justice laws. Our budgets have been balanced, with surpluses, and we cut taxes not only once, but twice. We accomplished a lot."
Bush has proven that he can succesfully implement the reforms he is promising, now he's looking to do it on a national level.
"I don't deserve all the credit, and don't attempt to take it. I worked with Republicans and Democrats to get things done. A bittersweet part of tonight is that someone is missing, the late Lt. Governor of Texas Bob Bullock. Bob was a Democrat...He worked by my side, endorsed my re-election..."
Bush, like McCain, says and does what he believes in, rather than what the party prescribes. He has proven that he can work WITH members of both parties to get done what needs to be done.
On Health Insurance:
"We will give low-income Americans tax credits to buy the private health insurance they need and deserve."
Bush supports helping people help themselves - by providing tax credits, many more people will be able to afford medical insurance.
"My administration will give taxpayers new incentives to donate to charity, encourage after-school programs that build character, and support mentoring groups that shape and save young lives...We must tell them, with clarity and confidence, that drugs and alcohol can destroy you, and bigotry disfigures the heart."
By reaching out to people when they are young, we can hope to steer people the right way - to show children that they can live a life that is better than gangs, crimes, and violence. Show a child that he is worth something, and that child will believe it.
On (Partial Birth) Abortion:
"...when Congress sends me a bill against partial-birth abortion, I will sign it into law."
Bush is willing to take a stand against the deplorable act of the partial birth abortion.
"I believe great decisions are made with care, made with conviction, not made with polls. I do not need to take your pulse before I know my own mind. I do not reinvent myself at every turn... When I act, you will know my reasons ...When I speak, you will know my heart."
Bush will do what he believes is right, and won't flip-flop based on what is poular at the time. As has so often been said, what is right is not always popular; what is popular is not always right.
All of these quotes are taken from his nomination acceptance speech (8/3/2000), as quoted on the bush2000 website.
While I do support Bush for president, I don't have anything against Gore (for the most part). I believe that both men want the same thing - to make the United States of America the best nation that it can be. I also believe, however, that Bush's route toward the best America possible is a better, more effective route than Gore's.
Hamlet - I agree that Congress is at least as important as the presidency; after all, the president can't sign bills into law if congress doesn't pass them first. I'm sure that enough seats are up for election in the Senate for the dems to regain control (33-34 are available every 2 years), and of course the whole House is up for re-election. However, we can hope that they are not successful, as the best situation we could hope for is a Republican congress to support Bush.