.. education. However, McCain feels strongly about directing the surplus toward the uninsured children of America. When asked about the large population of uninsured children, McCain responded, “Weve got to expand the childrens health insurance program. And Ill tell you what: I have the guts to take the money where it shouldnt be spent in Washington, and put it where it should be spent, including 10% of the surplus.”8 Another crucial issue in the upcoming election is free trade and immigration, a topic that seems to reveal only minimal differences among the four candidates.
Bill Bradley, the most liberal candidate on this topic, strongly supports allowing immigrants to remain in the United States regardless of where they are from and is a strong supporter of organizations such as the WTO and NAFTA. In 1986, a law was passed that granted amnesty to those who were here before 1982. Unfortunately, many people here before 1982 did not apply for this program. Bradley believes that there should be “late” amnesty for those individuals who did not apply because they are, in many respects, the backbone of the American workforce. Senator Bradley also believes that the United States has and must continue to rely on the WTO for much of our trade agreements with foreign companies. When questioned about trade, Bradley simply states, “I think the answer to a lot of our economic problems is more trade, more fairly shared worldwide.”9 Al Gore has views similar to that of fellow Democrat Bill Bradley.
Like Bradley, Gore is a strong supporter of immigration and trade organizations such as the WTO and NAFTA. However, unlike Bradley, Gore believes the United States to address the immigration situation in communist Cuba differently from non-communist countries. Gore also looks at immigration as an opportunity to solve our countrys labor shortage. A strong supporter of free and fair trade, Gore has been a national leader in opening markets around the world while at the same time protecting environmental and labor rights.10 Texas Governor George W. Bush has also shown his support for the WTO, NAFTA and free trade. Bushs plans for trade in the new millennium, however, are somewhat different. The Governor wants to eliminate trade barriers and tariffs everywhere so the whole world can trade in complete freedom.
Bush also supports of revising export controls to tighten control over military technology and ease restrictions on technology available commercially. Bush has views more conservative than his two democratic opponents on immigration. Governor Bush supports border enforcement programs such as Operation Hold the Line, programs that concentrate on border patrol officers and resources at known boarder-crossing points. Bush also favors”compassionately” turning away Mexicans at the border instead of arresting aliens once in the country.11 Similar to that of his three opponents, John McCain has established views that support NAFTA, the WTO and free trade. McCain has always been a strong supporter of maintaining “open” borders with Mexico and recognizes Mexico as one of our leading trade partners.
However, McCain emphasizes that we as country cannot become lackadaisical in our efforts to control our trade with Mexico. He believes it is a “balancing act,” allowing as much free trade as possible, while at the same time preventing illegal drugs from entering the United States. In addition to supporting free trade, McCain also intends to provide immigrants with more help once here in the states. Among the principles McCain supports are: increasing eligibility of legal immigrants for certain social programs, increasing the immigration quota for computer scientists and other information technology workers, and prohibiting states from passing laws that deny human services illegal immigrants or their children. McCain believes that these are the steps that need to be taken to work for more rights for immigrants.12 While these four experienced politicians, each of whom holds or has previously held high public office, struggle to articulate differences between them on the major issues of the day, there is, in reality, little difference between them.
This is particularly true given the booming economy and a certain level of complacency among the American population. These similarities have spawned the candidacies of politicians such as Pat Buchanan who himself has struggled to define his own positions and appeal to the American electorate. In reality, many have come to view our political system as a one party system, perhaps one with “two heads,” each of which espouses similar if not identical positions on virtually all major issues and has great difficulty in defining itself to the voting public therefore generating little excitement in the greatest democracy in the world. Bibliography “Al Gore 2000,” Gore 2000, Inc. http://www.algore2000.com (viewed 4/03/00). “Bill Bradley for Prez 2000 (unofficial),” http://www.killyourtv.com/billbradley (viewed 3/22/00).
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http://www.fosters.com/2000/index.htm (viewed 4/01/00) “George W. Bush for President Official Home Page,” Bush for President, Inc. http://www.georgewbush.com (viewed 4/04/00). “GoVote.com,” GoVote.com, Inc. http://www.GoVote.com/votematch/index.asp (viewed 4/10/00). “Issues 2000,” Issues2000.org. http://www.issues2000.org (viewed 4/02/00). “John McCain for President Official Site,” McCain 2000, Inc. http://www.mccain2000.com (viewed 2/12/00). “New York Republican Information,” http://www.fastlane.net/homepages/weide/nygop.shtm l (viewed 3/21/00) “NRCC Home Page,” National Republican Congressional Committee. http://www.nrcc.org (viewed 4/06/00). “Politics.com” Politics.com, Inc. http://www.Politics.com (viewed 4/05/00). “Politics 1,” Ron Gunzburger. http://www.politics1.com/p2000.htm (viewed 3/14/00).
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