Election 2000 Essay Research Paper Election 2000Abortion

Election 2000 Essay, Research Paper

Election 2000

Abortion, gun control, and social security reform are issues that everyone has an opinion

on. Including politicians. Despite the pressures to be en vogue and stay in the public

favor, these issues require Ralph Nader, Al Gore and George Bush to take a stand.

Abortion takes into account moral, as well as social concerns. And, the question

of governments power in influencing or dictating policies that affect those concerns.

Social security, is a serious aspect of a growing number of elderly persons, as well as

young professionals daily realities, and their election decisions. Ask any working

American, the monies being siphoned out of their weekly paychecks with the ‘promise’

that it’ll be there for them when they are eligible, and they will tell you how serious they

think it is. This topic also gives us the opportunity to see how well versed in economics

the candidates are, or are not. Gun control is an issue on which everyone has an opinion.

In this day in age where violence is not so far away from most communities, the question

of whether people should have the right to bear arms is debated intensely. What our

founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the constitution is a topic which puts our

freedoms against public benefit.

Abortion is an issue that is becoming a litmus test for office seekers these days

with many women voters. To openly take a hard stance against abortion is to end a

political career. As a congressman for Tennessee, Al Gore cast more votes against

abortion and related policies. As he became a national figure he changed his position,

and now claims he will do everything in his power to make sure Roe v. Wade does not

get overturned. Now an advocate of a woman’s right to chose, he also opposes parental-

notification laws and supports Medicaid funding of abortion! As the election near more

people are reminded of the fact that two of the Supreme Court justices are retiring.

Meaning new appointments could imbalance the court in favor of overturning Roe v.

Wade. Al Gore has said he believes in a potential justices right to privacy, but that there

are ways of assessing how they would interpret the constitution. And he feels that his

appointments would uphold the landmark case. Governor Bush also would not hold

appointees to a litmus test, but would make judicial appointment that are ‘strict

constructionists’ in their interpretation of the constitution. Governor Bush opposes partial-

birth abortions, as does Al Gore. However George W. is in favor of parental-notification,

with fines for failure to notify parent/guardian at least 48 hrs. prior to abortion. Also to

ban tax money spent on abortions, with exceptions for sexual abuse or physicians

advisement. Bush is supportive of pro-life amendments but says he wouldn’t pursue

them. Ralph Nader, the Green party candidate, has probably done the best at down

playing this topic. He is pro-choice, but doesn’t acknowledge that there is a threat to Roe

v. Wade, saying it’ll never be overturned. And like Al Gore supports the FDA’s decision

to allow RU-486( abortion pill ), sighting it’s benefit that it’s preferable to surgical


If the NRA could pick a candidate it would be Governor Bush. Although none of

the hopefuls are in favor of more restrictions on handguns, he is the most consistent.

Gore as a congressman was not opposed to them, but as Vice President changed tack

completely. He is now in favor of cracking down on gun shows, banning junk guns(

cheap guns used in many violent crimes ), limiting one gun to one person per month, and

requiring manufacturers and retailers to report gun sales to state authority. The latter

raising loud voices of right to privacy concerns. Other than that all sides are in

agreement to ban assault weapons, large ammunition clips, and certain types of

ammunition, such as armor piercing, high velocity, and ‘cop killers’. Ralph Nader has

been advocating tougher laws against gun wielding criminals, stating in accord with Bush

that the problem isn’t with the law-abiding citizens that purchase guns. So we shouldn’t

make it harder for them. The point where Bush and Nader differ with Gore is precisely

that. Gore would make mandatory registration with the government of all guns, and

heavy state and federal government overseeing of gun sales. Bush and Nader do not to

encroach on the rights of citizens with respect to bearing arms. Instead they are more in

favor ‘very strict’ sentences, because only criminals should be affected by legislation not

sportsman and people wishing to use guns for self defense.

Social security, without a doubt, the most successful, and, the noblest

government programs. To ensure dignity and financial security of our aged, and disabled

citizens is a responsibility that has been our good fortune to actualize. However with a

growing geriatric population, benefits for poor families and disabled persons, it is time for

reform of our system before it goes bankrupt. Ralph Nader is the only one saying that the

fears are unfounded, of not being able to meet the needs of the eligible. He agrees with

Bush that working people should have a reasonable measure of control over their

retirement assets. However he limits it to pension funds and retirements accounts and

not to the fraction of social security money that Bush would advance to privatize. Bush’s

idea has raised a many an objection to the idea of allowing individuals to invest part(1/6)

of their contributions in the private sector, namely the stocks market. Gore and Nader are

very vocal in opposing Bush’s plan, stating that it would replace security with insecurity.

There is to much uncertainty in the market to allow the populace to put money that the

government would eventually be forced to compensate. After all, if millions of people

are skinned in a market crash, it would be the government that would have to provide

social assistance in the form of food stamps, welfare and the like. Gore’s main point hat

republicans are vehemently opposed to is financing social security through general

taxation. Gore reasoning is that then the government could pay down the debt with the

surpluses, and with the savings from the interest payments, reinvest in the social security

program. Gore’s response to Bush’s plan to allow individuals more control over their

future financial well being comes in the form of ‘individual retirement savings plus’

accounts, in which tax exempt savings would be matched by government. Unlike what

Gore’s camp would want one to think, Bush’s plan wouldn’t affect retirees, or those close

to retirement, “no reduction in benefits for retirees”. Bush also takes a very conservative

view in regard to raising taxes for social security support; he is absolutely against it. He

is for dedicating social security money for social security, and leaving the paying of

interest payment on our national debt a separate issue.

These issues are a good measure of the candidates views about our concerns as a

society. Between appealing to popular opinion and standing for something, candidates

stances on issues are formed, and the people are left to sort through the images to make a

decision. Who do we want to entrust with the awesome responsibility of leading our

nation. Though we are fortunate to be a generally well educated society, the

complexities of our government have become difficult to understand. Politicians rely on

this to gain favor with the public. We as the power behind government must be better

informed, so we are not taken advantage of by our own elected officials. Whether

Nader, Gore, Bush, or any other candidate is elected, the benefits or the repercussions

will be felt by the American people. The three issues discussed are representative of the

moral, societal, and economical problems in our country, and are only three of many

issues being hotly debated. Ralph Nader’s proposals are far and away the most intelligent

and ambitious for the United States. Al Gore and George Bush are coming from opposite

sides of the political spectrum, but offer us business as usual. They are funded by and

fight for the interest of the same elite (of which they are also members!) class. Ralph

Nader has shown in the past with his exemplary record, that he fights for the people.

Though some of his stances are arguably too liberal, he is the prescription for corruption,

Deep-pocketed corporate lobbyists, and many of the ills associated with government.

Serious injustices in our system with regard to access to political influence, which are at

the heart of most social problems, will not be altered with the two party system. Noone is

na?ve enough to suggest perfection however with someone who’s genuine concerns are

the people of this country, and the oppressed globally, government might actualize the

myth of equality.



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