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Volume 69, Issue 154, Thursday, July 15, 2004


Bush should return to his conservative roots

By Ken Stocks

Politicians in general, whether Republicans or Democrats, are killing this country. Washington has become a big country club where everyone wants to play the game of politics rather than golf.

Bill Clinton was clearly liberal until he joined the "country club" and moved toward the center. George W. Bush campaigned as a conservative, and his move to the center has done nothing to gain support from the left; he needs to return to his conservative ideals before it is too late.

The 2004 presidential election provides one of the clearest choices in the history of this country. The Democratic Party has thumbed its nose at the "silent majority" that calls itself "moderate." John Kerry and John Edwards both have voting records more liberal than Ted Kennedy's.

In 1984, Democrats nominated the similarly liberal ticket of Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro. Even though Ferraro was liberal, she was a much more respected and experienced politician than Edwards.

In 1988, liberal Michael Dukakis was nominated, but he chose conservative Lloyd Bentsen to balance the ticket. Still, the vast majority of the electorate turned away from the Democrats' selection of a liberal candidate.

Clinton campaigned as a moderate in order to be elected and actually moved closer to the center upon election. With a healthy conservative element in the House and Senate to guide him on political and tax matters, he was not a bad president and earned re-election despite his many shortfalls.

The choice for undecided voters in this election is clear. The liberal candidate, Kerry, offers the same old tax-and-spend policies as his predecessors. Kerry believes you are not smart enough to handle your own money. He is dedicated to raising taxes, but claims that doing so won't affect 95 percent of those with middle-class incomes -- but somehow he will find his way into your pocketbook, too.

Some Kerry supporters have talked about a top tax rate of 90 percent on the rich, ignoring the disastrous effect the top 70 percent tax rate had on the economy under Jimmy Carter. These tax-and-spend policies have never worked. In fact, the worst economic state since the Great Depression occurred during the Carter administration.

Kerry is a billionaire, and Edwards isn't far behind. It's ironic how they claim to understand and represent the poor. Kerry married into his money, and as a trial lawyer Edwards used "junk science" to earn $100 million in medical lawsuits concerning cerebral palsy. Trial lawyers like Edwards are responsible for driving health care out of the reach of many Americans.

Edwards proudly points to his work representing "the little guy," but he didn't turn down the $100 million he earned or donate 90 percent of his earnings to the federal government.

The Kerry/Edwards ticket is weak on defense, both having voted time and again against weapons programs and funding for the military. As a senator, Kerry was a weak leader and never had a single important piece of legislation pass with his name on it. Kerry has flip-flopped on issues and showed no signs of being able to lead this country.

These factors lead to the conclusion that this election will be a landslide for a conservative candidate, and Bush needs to return to what got him elected -- articulating his conservative values so the "silent majority" can see a true leader.

Stocks, a columnist for The Daily Cougar, 
can be reached at

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