All about the bounce

By Timothy Rollins
web posted August 28, 2000

The biggest story in the news this week is the "bounce" that Al Gore is currently enjoying - a five-point lead in the polls. To me, this is a non-story if ever there was one. Given the margin of error in polls, this is still a dead heat, which is where things have been for a while.

Both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions were carefully staged media events, and a bounce is expected after the nominees gives their acceptance speeches. For Gore to enjoy a bounce of less than ten points is a sure sign of a campaign in trouble – serious trouble. To sum it up, the bounce is much ado about nothing.

I was listening to Rush Limbaugh and he was talking about the women who were impressed by the smooch Al Gore laid on his wife, Tipper at the convention. One smooch does not a campaign make, and between now and November, most of those who were impressed by the "smooch factor" will have probably come around and be making a more informed choice at the ballot box come November.

Being an effective President is more than just how he or she gets along with their spouse. It involves how they will guide the country through good times and bad. It also involves responding to threats to the safety and well being of our national interests and people, wherever they may be throughout the world. Part of it is also in surrounding yourself with the best people, much like Ronald Reagan did when he came into office in 1981.

At the time Reagan took office, our military was in a shambles. Reagan increased the military budget and with improved training, morale and equipment, rebuilt our military and was able to send a message to the world that we don’t take crap from anybody. Just look what happened in Grenada in 1983 and Libya in 1986. George Bush continued the tradition in 1989 with Operation Just Cause in Panama, and in 1990-1991 with Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Reagan left office with America holding its head high, and George Bush, along with the rest of the world, was able to see the collapse of the Iron Curtain on his watch. With the collapse of the Iron Curtain, there came a need for the military to be scaled down some, which was understandable. In scaling down the military, the important thing is to trim the fat and not cut into the bone.

Bill Clinton did just that – cut into the bone. We now have a military that has equipment that does not properly work, enlisted men once again on food stamps and morale at a low that has not been experienced since Jimmy Carter was in office. There is no reason to believe that Al Gore would significantly improve our military readiness if he were elected President.

From what I have seen of Al Gore, he is tied way too close to Bill Clinton to have ideas of his own other than being a tree hugger of the first order. How can he claim to be his own man when on the day of the House vote to impeach Clinton, he declared to Congress and the American people at a pep rally on the Hill that Clinton was not only his President, but also his friend. He also went on to say that Clinton would be remembered as one of our greatest Presidents. Give me a break!

George W. BushGeorge W. Bush does not have all the answers either, but he seems to be the better of the two. He may not have Washington experience, but he has Dick Cheney on the ticket and Cheney has a wealth of Washington experience that will benefit both Bush and the American people. No one candidate has a monopoly on wisdom. Clinton thought he had all the answers, and look at where we are now. Gore and Lieberman on the other hand, have too much insider experience in Washington (their whole working lives) to provide a fresh perspective that America so desperately needs at this time.

The most effective means of problem solving comes from working together. All too often, the ongoing war of words between parties prevents coming up a meaningful, practical solution to issues that affect the American people. That is why so many people complain about gridlock in Washington.

For forty years, the Democrats had control of one or both houses of Congress. The Revolution of 1994 changed all that, and the Republicans have squandered their majority to where a net loss of six seats would revert control to the Democrats. With 24 Republicans in the House not seeking re-election for one reason or another (retirement, resignation or seeking higher office), the possibility of Dick Gephardt (D-MO) as House Speaker is not only realistic, but also scary.

An America with a Republican in the White House and a Republican controlled House and Senate would be an opportunity to see what can be accomplished – for good or ill. It would be an opportunity for the people to see who is better able to govern the affairs of the people. After all, no one seems to be better at damage control than the Republicans are – just look at Ronald Reagan’s accomplishments to see what I mean.

The time has clearly come for a change in the American political landscape. We need to have combat readiness restored to an appropriate level that will protect us from rogue states and other independents that possess weapons of assorted kinds and varieties, and which are aimed at us or our allies. Our troops need to know that they are appreciated and should be compensated in a way that will only attract the best and brightest to serve in our military.

Most Americans will see through the bounce and eventually (I believe) make the more correct choice of the two and vote for increased military readiness to protect us from the wackos and assorted cretins. They will also vote to end the scandal-ridden administration of both Bill Clinton and Al Gore by ushering a new opportunity for America to adequately prepare for the challenges, growth and opportunities that the 21st Century will bring.

A clean slate can do wonders for national morale, and there is no greater need for it than now. I am looking forward to it as are a lot of other people I know.

© 2000 Timothy Rollins.

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