Another four years another presidential debate. Before I go on to the current debates let me state a few facts about past ones. The Lincoln and Douglas debate was in important because it started Lincoln presidential career. The Debates lasted from August 21 – October 15. There where seven of them, with two days to two weeks in between. Each debate lasted three hours; first candidate spoke for one hour; the second for one and a half hours; the first replying for a half hour. Candidates alternated going first. The topics involved where primarily slavery and the Union. Other important debates were the ’48 and ’57. They were the only debates before 1960; there were no presidential debates between 1960 and 1976. In 1960 the presidential debate was between President Kennedy and President Nixon. The topic was domestic issues. Over 66.4 million people either heard or watch the debates. 1992 was President Clinton’s first presidential debate. With over 62.4 million people watching President Clinton, President Bush and Ross Perot debated with the rules being, no opening statements; each candidate questioned in turn with two minutes to respond; one minute rebuttal by other candidates; two minute closing statements. (http://www.debates.org/pages/debhis.html)
Enough of ancient history lets get back to today’s debates. In the rest of the essay I will explain what issues interest me and why. Also, I will explain my opinion on the issues I choose and why I chose that statement. The first issue I would like to address is on education. This issue was chosen for me. The moderator in the first debate asked the candidates “Both of you have promised dramatically to change – to change dramatically public education in the country. Of the public money spent on education, only 6% of that id federal money. You want to change 100% of the public education on 6% of the money, is it possible to change it?”(Jim Lehrer) Bush stated that he wants more charter schools because they produce students of a high caliber. “It’s a school of strong discipline a high standards. It’s one of the best schools in Houston.” “That’s my vision for public education all around America.”(Governor Bush) Bush also wants to change Head Start to a reading program and also he wants people to access reading money if they want to. Bush wants more kids to learn how to read and have more teach-for-the-children type teachers. Bush only cares for the children.
Gore on the other hand agrees with only a couple of things that Bush stated. He strongly supports accountability; he also supports local control. Bush and Gore agree on both. Gore thinks every teacher should be tested including in the subjects that they teach. He also thinks that 100,000 new teachers should be recruited to reduce class size. The main reason for that is because a man gave him a letter from his daughter. The girl is the 36th student in her class; the picture attached showed that there was no room for one desk so she had to stand. He also wants to make college tax deductible (up to $10,000 a year).
I believe that both of the candidates have very good points on education, they were to combine there ideas they would come up with a very good education plan. I like college being tax deductible and I also like the 100,000 more teachers for to reduce class size. However, when Gore said that he wanted more teachers, I have one question, where are you going to put all those teachers? Put two teachers in one classroom? Build more schools? Who will pay for all this?
The other issue I would like to discuss is the legalization of the RU-486 drug. It is an abortion pill. The FDA approved just recently but it took them 12 years just to study it. It is available in Europe and China. Governor Bush says, “I don’t think a president can unilaterally overturn it. The FDA has made its decision.”(Governor Bush) After that the Governor states that he is pro-life. He also wants to increase the quality of life. How is life going to be better for an unwanted child? Vice-President Al Gore on the other hand is pro-choice, which I agree more to. Pro-choice gives a woman the decision whether to abort the pregnancy or whether to go on with it.
I would most likely vote for the underdog, Charles Nader. His issues are the ones that agree with me. If I were torn between Gore and Bush I would vote for Gore because he has more political experience and better plans for the economy, government, and budget.