Charleston Daily Mail:

Friday, October 15, 2004 

George W. Bush: the right ideas
Internationally and domestically, he offers an agenda of strength

Americans want their nation to be strong and safe and fair. The candidate whose agenda promotes that, in national security and domestic policy, is President George W. Bush.

Americans are reluctant to use military force. We would rather solve problems with earnest discussions.

Those who would seize power exploit this reluctance. Unopposed, zealots using terrorist tactics can cow tens of millions of people. It's the history of the world.

The longer we wait to confront these elements, the higher the price we must pay to stop them.

The would-be leaders of Islam, operating from a safe haven in Afghanistan, brought their war on Americans to U.S soil on Sept. 11, 2001. The United States, led by President George W. Bush, stood up to it.

The ensuing years have produced astonishing results. The Afghan people have voted -- women included. Saddam Hussein of Iraq has been removed, and Iraqis are designing a nation that can provide them a decent life.

Terrorist attacks continue, bombings and beheadings. "Insurgents show tenacity," say the headlines.

So must Americans.

The Muslim world is in ferment from north Africa to the far East, its peoples desperate for progress. President Bush and a seasoned team have provided strong leadership in this crisis, aligning the United States with the moderates and the modernizers.

It's the right thing to do, and the farsighted thing to do with respect to our own national security. The war against terror has made great strides in a few years.

Sen. John Kerry, has communicated a willingness to retreat, as if standing down would stop attacks on us.

As for domestic policy, Bush also offers an agenda that, by encouraging personal responsibility, would produce strength. Kerry would encourage more dependence on government, and more weakness.

Kerry would federalize health care, producing higher taxes. Bush would foster personal responsibility through Health Savings Accounts, encouraging saving and holding taxes down.

Kerry would not face the problems of Social Security. Bush would, preserving benefits for current retirees and giving the next generation an opportunity it needs.

The lawsuit culture that has weakened American manufacturing and health care? Bush would pursue reasonable limits. Kerry chose a multimillionaire tort lawyer as a running mate.

Education? Bush has raised spending on education by almost 50 percent, and demanded results on the investment. Kerry is the tool of the teachers' unions.

The right to bear arms? Bush supports it. Kerry is not a credible supporter of the Second Amendment.

Taxes? Bush would grow the economy. Kerry would grow the government.

Turn left with one of the most liberal members of the Senate, and Americans will make themselves more like weak socialist Europe. Its economy is not growing, and it is increasingly unable to defend itself.

Stay the course, and America will grow stronger.

Bush has provided admirable leadership on national security and domestic policy. Americans are safer giving him a second term.

Copyright 2005 Charleston Daily Mail.  Reprinted by permission.  (Nanya Friend July 22, 2005)