2000 ELECTION Guide

The views expressed in this section represent a majority vote of the editorial board. The editorial board consists of Vincent Gragnani, Editor in Chief; Bill Burger and Alison Norris, Managing Editors; Jeffey White, Copy Editor; Tom Vu, Opinion Editor; Lauren I. Coartney, News Editor and Robert Fulton, Sports Editor. The endorsements are not necessarily those of the UC Board of Regents, the ASUCSD, nor the entire Guardian staff.

or the position of President of the United States, the Guardian editorial board endorses Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush. This endorsement meant different things to different editorial board members, with some asserting an affinity for Bush’s plans and record, while others put forth their endorsement strictly as a vote for the lesser of two evils.

The jewel in the crown of Bush’s record in Texas is his history of reforming defunct school systems and the equitable way in which he has made these changes. When Bush took office in Texas, children in his state ranked close to the bottom in every educational category, including being rated 51st in the nation, behind Puerto Rico, in many. Since his election, Texas students have made greater strides in reading and mathematics than any other state in the nation.

Bush’s plan for the country’s education reform includes giving public schools a finite amount of time to make strides toward improvement. If schools do not show this improvement in a certain period of time, the parents of the children who go to these schools will be given the option to send their children to another public school. Bush also wants to move education control to a local level to avoid bureaucracy. Unlike Gore, Bush gives the school districts the power to decide what to spend their funds on. Gore uses a formula that, in our opinion, is too inflexible to be effective.

Perhaps the most impressive part of Texas’ educational reform under Bush is the manner in which it has undergone those reforms. Improvement in reading and mathematics has keyed Texas’ overall improvement, with African-American and Hispanic children showing the biggest improvements. These improvements to minority education levels show the importance Bush puts on equality, something that most members of his party do not, and something that the Guardian feels is of utmost importance.

The Guardian also feels that Bush’s tax plan is one of great forethought. He calls for a tax cut across the board, putting more money back into the pockets of the people and bolstering consumer spending. His plan does not “”squander”” the surplus, as some allege. Rather, he plans to return one-quarter of the surplus to the taxpayers that earned it.

Although Gore has attacked Bush for allegedly planning tax cuts for the richest Americans, further inspection of the Bush tax plan shows that the rich receive the smallest percentage cut, while the majority of the cut goes to the poorest Americans. About six million of America’s poorest families will have their taxes completely alleviated under Bush’s plan.

Tax cuts of this nature have historically been shown to kick off economic booms, with Lyndon B. Johnson’s original 30 percent tax cut standing out above the others. Many point to President Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts and the deficit they allegedly caused. On the contrary, Reagan’s cuts did not cause the deficit; his exorbitant defense spending, something that Bush does not endorse, caused it.

One thing that seems to separate Bush from the other members of the Republican party, a group whose candidates rarely get the endorsements of news publications, is his desire to make Washington a bipartisan place. Currently, partisan politics dominate legislative action, frustrating Americans to the point of exhaustion. In Texas, Bush worked with Democrats to institute tax cuts and overhaul the defunct Texas educational system. We are not naive enough to believe that he can be as successful at breaking down party lines in Washington as he was in Austin, but any attempt to destroy these seemingly indestructible barriers would be good for Americans.

Although Ralph Nader, the Green Party’s presidential nominee, brings a breath of fresh air to this campaign, the Guardian feels that he is a one-dimensional candidate lacking expertise broad enough to run the most powerful nation in the world. We could not endorse Nader for the post of president in good faith.

Gore is the other major choice in this election. He has been a proponent of the environment since his time in Congress, so if the health of the environment is of primary concern, looking further into Gore’s credentials would be warranted. However, the Guardian feels that his strong environmental record does not come close to making up for his shortcomings.

Gore will say anything and everything he can to try to sway the vote in his direction. From the well-publicized “”I invented the Internet”” quote to a claim that he did not know that a trip to a Buddhist temple was a fund-raiser, Gore has lied throughout the campaign in order to attempt to win votes.

The Guardian believes it is time for this deception to come to an end. Perhaps it is naive to believe that Bush will be any more honest or uphold the integrity of the office of president. It is impossible to know how Bush will react if he is voted into office, but the Guardian editorial board believes that this chance is one worth taking.

The post of president of the United States was never intended to be so glorious and powerful that people would say or do anything to get there. It was intended to be a representative post of the thoughts and beliefs of the American people. George Washington was elected not because he lied to mix up the issues at hand, but because the people believed him to be the best man for the job.

Gore wants to be president too badly. In the process of striving for it he has alienated the people whom he is relying on. This was the primary reason the Guardian was unable to support the vice president, and instead supports his opponent, George W. Bush.