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Bush Might Have Won the Campaign, But Gore Should Win the Election This has been the strangest of American election campaigns; the most exciting in 40 years in terms of the closeness of the contest, yet one in which both major candidates have utterly failed to capture the national imagination. The lead in the polls has changed hands half a dozen times since September and, even at this late stage, only the very bravest dare forecast the outcome. Campaigning, alas, tends to bring out the worst in Gore. As the standard-bearer of the incumbent party, he should have long since locked up this election. Yet his turgid style, his maddening tendency to condescension, and his craven unwillingness to depart from the script provided by his advisers have combined to squander the "peace and prosperity" factor that should have guaranteed victory. It should be said, too, that his Republican opponent, George W Bush, has improved considerably as the campaign has progressed. Not only has he won the personality contest, a vital component of any American election, hands down; he has held his own in the second debate, adroitly focused his attack on Gore's weak points, and avoided the gaffes that everyone expected. In short, he has done enough to make a plausible president. But that does not mean he would be a good president. His short attention span, his pervasive lacks of curiosity, his general lightness of being, remain unnerving. He has mastered his lines, but all too often does not seem to understand them. On the domestic front, Gore's ideas for using the massive budget surpluses ahead are far more convincing; his ideas on abortions, global warming, education, and campaign-finance reform more clearly address the problems facing America. Gore-appointed justices in the Supreme Court would offer added protection against a social lurch to the right. Al Gore believes that a woman should have a right to legal abortions, and that they should be "safe and rare." Gore supports FDA approval of abortion pill Mifeprex and he wants to reinforce security around clinics to protect the doctors who perform abortions, and the patients who seek their services. I think it s up to the woman, and I strongly support a woman s right to chose, and I support the FDA s approval, assuming it s safe for the woman who takes it, said Gore. Bush on the other hand disagrees completely saying that the FDA s decision was totally wrong. Ensuring Clean and Reliable Sources of Electricity: Al Gore's plan would ensure clean and reliable sources of electricity by enhancing our nation's capacities to reliably generate and distribute electricity and by providing market-based incentives to clean up aging power plants. Gore revived the issue of global warming, a subject from his past that he has generally ignored this year. Seizing on a new UN report asserting that pollution appears to be raising world temperatures, Gore tried to portray global warming as a populist issue. He called the effort to stop global warming a fight against big polluters, in an attack similar to those he has made on drug companies, insurance companies, & health-maintenance organizations. It does not have to happen and won t happen if we put our minds to solving this problem, Gore said of the predicted rise in temperature and problems that would create. Gore s turn to global warming suggests he now thinks he can use the subject to cast an unfavorable light on Bush, who has expressed skepticism about the danger. Bush says, It s an issue that we need to take very seriously. I don t think we know the solution to global warming yet and I don t think we ve got all the facts before we make decisions. In the field of education Gore says: We can't reform education with half an agenda. We can't make education our top priority if huge tax cuts for the wealthy are already the first, second, and third priority. That's really the choice we face: a commitment to education for life or a set of priorities that could leave us with budget deficits for life." He argues that if you drain the money away from the public schools for private vouchers, it hurts the public schools. George W. Bush has a narrower education agenda because his massive tax cut leaves few resources to invest in education. Vice President Al Gore supports reforms to eliminate gray areas in legislation. He backs McCain-Feingold Bill because it s that important that all of the issues like prescription drugs for seniors that is opposed by the drug companies, will be easier to pass if we limit the influence of special interests. Whereas Bush supports an effort to ban corporate soft money & labor union soft money. Bush thinks that there needs to be instant disclosure on the Internet as to who s given to whom. Gore supports using $2.2 trillion of the Social Security surpluses to shore up the program and pay down the debt, thus saving billions of dollars in interest, which can be redirected to ensuring the solvency of the Social Security trust fund until at least 2050. He supports the elimination of the Social Security earnings limit, which the president signed into law on April 7, 2000. Gore supports an increase in benefits for widows and eliminating the "motherhood penalty" -- the resulting reduction in benefits for women who take time off from work to raise children. "I do not believe it's right to play games with Social Security or pit young against old in a scramble to fulfill extravagant and competing campaign promises, he said in a speech in Kissimmee, in central Florida. I believe we have to strengthen Social Security by giving unprecedented new opportunities for families to save more, invest more and get higher returns," Gore said. Bush does not rule out the possibility of rising the eligibility age for baby boom-era recipients as part of trade-off for private investment accounts. Bush freely admits that he would rely on advisers. They are an indisputably reassuring bunch, led by Colin Powell, his likely Secretary of State, and Dick Cheney, his running mate and a former Secretary of Defense. But what if the advisers disagree? Again, I come back to Bush's lack of depth. The Republican might have won the campaign. But Gore deserves to win the election and the presidency; Gore s views are clearly more logical and realistic to this country and that s why I would vote for Gore.

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