Dole would bring integrity, leadership to highest office

By Jigar

Bob Dole has always been a soldier, from his trying World War II days to his dedicated years on Capitol Hill. This old soldier has come back for a battle on behalf of his country, and is deserving of the opportunity to do what he does best — serve the United States. Dole is the man who will fight on behalf of our generation, our communities and our nation.
By 2013, Social Security will be broke, in desperate need of money to pay debts. This will be the same period in which our generation will be firmly entrenched in the work force. Income taxes will need to be raised or government spending will need to be slashed in a draconian manner in order for the United States to remain financially solvent. The effect on our generation will be devastating. Currently, Medicare is growing at a rate of 11 percent a year, and will surpass Social Security in the year 2000 as the largest government program. That will have back-breaking consequences for our generation. The time has come for our generation to unite, cast aside our political affiliations and vote on behalf of the interests of our generation.
The obvious question now arises — which candidate better represents the interests of our generation? Ironically, the man who is 50 years older than most college students, Bob Dole, will serve our generation’s interests far better than the incumbent. President Clinton demonstrated his callous position toward our generation in May 1995 when Congress proposed, as a bold measure on behalf of our generation, to slow the growth rate of Medicare by 4 percent. Clinton, recognizing the political volatility and opportunity for political exploitation involved in addressing so touchy an issue, resorted to demagoguery, scared the elderly and forced Congress to withdraw the proposal. Clinton knows better than anyone else that entitlements need reform, yet when the time came for a strong stance, he chose to play politics rather than take a stand on behalf of our generation. Clearly, Clinton does not represent our generation’s interests.
Dole supports reform, and will be forced, regardless of his position, to reform entitlements, which will support our generation. The reason is simple — if Dole is elected, it will be primarily on the basis of his proposed 15 percent tax cut, and consequently this cut must be priority number one for Dole. This cut cannot be made without entitlement reform. Entitlement reform is inevitable under a Dole administration — excellent for our generation.
Although Dole is better for our generation, the president must also be better for our communities. Our communities are plagued with crime, evidenced by urban decay as well as societal breakdown. Dole has a two-planked position regarding crime — prevention and enforcement.
Primarily, Dole advocates a policy of prevention, stressing educational reform as the major means to keep youngsters out of trouble. Real educational reform is only possible with political courage, for the single biggest impediment to educational reform in this nation is a political powerhouse, the National Education Association. The NEA is a powerful teachers union known for opposing such reforms as performance-based pay as well as state and national testing standards. Jaime Escalante, the award-winning Calculus teacher whose story inspired the movie “Stand and Deliver,” said, “Unions are more interested in politics than kids.” President Clinton’s hands are tied on this issue, as the Democratic National Committee has accepted more than $3.5 million from the NEA since 1993. In fact, Clinton, under pressure from the NEA, actually reversed positions on a reform bill that would have allowed poor children in the District of Columbia to receive grants to attend better schools.
Despite the dilapidated state of education, the NEA and Clinton continue to preserve the status quo. Dole has stated numerous times that he will take on the NEA, advancing the cause of education in our communities, as well as reinforcing the message that, at the presidential level, the good of communities and the nation should not come before political gain.
The second plank in Dole’s position revolves around law enforcement. Dole has proposed a revitalized war on drugs, complete with a task force linking the defense department, CIA and Drug Enforcement Agency to beef up the interdiction of illegal drug shipments in the United States. Clinton’s record on drugs is clear and disturbing. He slashed the drug czar’s office by 50 percent; not surprisingly, drug use among teens doubled during his term. The task of real leadership on the part of Clinton in the war on drugs stands in sharp contrast to Dole’s strong commitment to our communities.
Finally, after addressing concerns regarding our generation as well as our communities, it is time to address an issue facing our nation as a whole: presidential character. The presidency of the Unites States is the highest office in the world, different from all other U.S. positions in that the president serves as a national figurehead, a spokesman for the entire country. Therefore, fairly or unfairly, the president is responsible for upholding the dignity and respect of the office. Dole, who served so valiantly in World War II, who rose above tremendous odds to conquer his debilitating injury, who devoted his entire life to national service, is a man of whom the entire nation can be proud. The nation can look to him for leadership and guidance, without fear of being dragged down by weekly scandals. Bob Dole will restore honor to the office of president.
Dole is a man committed to the betterment of our generation, our communities and our nation. He has stood tall on behalf of his country his entire life, never compromising his integrity or the nation’s well-being for political gain. If given the honor of serving his nation one last time, Dole will continue to do what he has done his entire life — make us proud.
Jigar Madia, a sophomore studyingbiology and business, is Minnesota Student Association Speaker of the Forum.