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America's Problems Require a Fresh Solution

Column by Michael K. Chung

During the past few months, I haven't been able to help but wonder why George Bush is seeking re-election. I simply don't see President Bush as truly having the inner desire to solve problems for the nation. Although I am pleased with his performance in international affairs, I am far from satisfied with his handling of domestic issues.

President Bush seems to only attempt to please the public by speaking with conviction about how reform should take place in areas such as education, the environment, and urban crime. He has claimed to want to be known as "the Education President" and "the Environmental President."

How much has been done from the Oval Office in comparison with progress made on the grass-roots and local levels? Has George Bush been the catalyst for people to "think globally, act locally" on such issues, or has the media's exposure of environmental conditions, combined with the public's general awareness of our nation's status, been the cause for concern?

I feel that the people's reactions to studies, whether scientific or other, have caused President Bush to address these issues and tell the people what he feels they want to hear, so that the maximum number of voters are satisfied. Instead of formulating and endorsing his own opinion, Bush appears to constantly reiterate what the majority has already told him.

To me, Bush appears to be seeking re-election to satisfy his ego, and possibly to pave the way for Dan Quayle to follow in his footsteps. It is shameful for anyone to seek office merely to satisfy one's pride, instead of genuinely wanting to contribute to society. This is where I see Governor Bill Clinton as having an advantage over Bush. Clinton seems to actually have concern for the many declining aspects of our nation, and is not afraid to assert bold plans that he feels will change it. And if a candidate is truly concerned with issues, it is difficult for him to transcend this interest, without sounding shallow.

One major hang-up I have with Bush is his claim that America is not on the decline. I don't think I need to remind anyone of the depth and breadth of nation's problems, including the growing decadence of American society, the loss of manufacturing, and family dissolution, among many others. And how about Bush attacking Clinton for demonstrating against the United States' involvement in Vietnam, while he was in the former Soviet Union? Bush claimed that it is unpatriotic (and therefore wrong) to criticize your country, and that as citizens, we must back our nation. I happen to believe in constructive criticism of any groups in which one may be involved.

Many politicians take advantage of their positions, become selfish, or more selfish, as the case may be, and collect benefits for themselves, leaving future generations to pickup the tab. This trend of behavior seems to be reflected in more and more places, as once well-intentioned people shift their focus from the good of mankind to the good of "my kind." It seems pretty obvious that some generation will have to make a substantial sacrifice in order to help set our nation back on the track to economic, social, and educational stability.

But who will vote for the candidate who tells us that our country is in pathetic shape?

Probably only the idealistic youth, willing to make sacrifices, who realize they're going to be around for while. I sympathize with George Bush, because the economy has been lousy and people simply blame that on Bush, even though it obviously can't all be his fault. But I feel that it is time to get someone who is fresh, younger, and strives for more equality, and while Bush is a good president for the rich, the times are such that we need the leadership of somebody who can apportion necessities, opportunities, and responsibility more equally. Hence, my vote is for Bill Clinton.