Sunday, October 29, 2000

A leader to trust


Enquirer endorses Bush for President

        The streets of Cincinnati will not buckle, the sky will not fall, the Ohio River will not dry up if voters make the “wrong” choice on Nov. 7. Both Al Gore and George W. Bush are qualified to run our country without running it into the ground.

        But Mr. Bush is the better choice for Cincinnati and our nation.

        Our city and region are proudly conservative, a place that cherishes the kind of moderate values that most Americans are embracing as they grow up and raise families. We are increasingly worried by government intrusion. We understand and appreciate the contributions to our region by Fortune 500 companies that provide jobs, leadership and philanthropy.

        The tired old class-warfare bashing of “big business” sounds silly — not because we are not compassionate, but because we understand that without business there would be no resources to help others.

        For this region, Mr. Bush is the right fit. He's a moderate conservative who has found a theme that is in harmony with our lives: empowerment of the individual, not government. Those like Mr. Gore, who put so much faith in government, have too little faith in the American people.

        Both candidates have worked hard to move to the center, but they are far apart on the issues that matter. There's a clear fork in the road, and it's time to choose. In this era of peace and prosperity, we should seize the moment to fix lingering problems and prepare for the future, without layering on more quilts of patchwork government and stifling taxes.

        On Social Security, for example, Mr. Bush has the right approach: Private investments would at least double the stingy 2 percent return on Social Security funds. Mr. Gore would rather add a costly new entitlement, while using the issue to scare the elderly.

        Although education is mainly a local issue, Mr. Gore is a captive of teacher unions that want to block innovations favored by Mr. Bush, such as accountability and choice.

        And Mr. Gore wants to nationalize health care incrementally, like the plan hatched by Hillary Clinton and rejected by the American people.

        These issues affect our daily lives, our jobs, our children and our future.

        We have some concerns about Mr. Bush. As president, he will have to overcome the “lightweight” label that has been branded on him by the media — unfairly. But there is a maturity question.

        Mr. Gore, though, has a credibility problem, to put it politely. Taking illegal campaign donations was bad enough; he tried to sweep it under a Buddhist temple rug by chanting a lawyerly mantra: “There is no controlling legal authority.”

        His exaggerations have made him into a cartoon of the prevaricating politician.

        This pattern gives us a glimpse of another Al Gore in the multiple personalities we have seen this year: One who has an alarming need to exaggerate his own importance.

        Let's face it: Americans are exhausted to the brink of nausea by “Clinton morality” — lying, abuse of power, tawdry sex scandals. We're sick and tired of relentless dishonesty.

        There are issues at stake in this election that reach Mount Rushmore scale: The makeup of the Supreme Court could take a more liberal tilt under Mr. Gore or remain moderately conservative under Mr. Bush.

        Although we are the top superpower, the world is full of land mines. Mr. Gore has more foreign policy experience, but Mr. Bush has a more coherent world-view.

        Mr. Gore is adamantly pro-abortion, even supporting partial birth abortion that is revolting to the overwhelming majority of Americans. Mr. Bush is pro-life.

        Mr. Gore's unfair, penurious tax cuts count every dollar we earn as federal property: We get to keep only what government can “afford” to give us. Mr. Bush proposes real relief for all taxpayers.

        Mr. Bush will have to prove himself to a nation grown cynical. Many doubt his sincerity on race relations. He could face a soured economy or a world crisis. Fortunately, the team that surrounds him has reassuring stature and experience. And Mr. Bush will make his supporters proud and make friends of his open-minded critics.

        There are many reasons that Mr. Bush is the right choice. In the end it comes down to trust.

        Americans in Cincinnati and across the nation work hard to make the world a better place, to make our country wealthy and healthy, to raise children strong and honest and well educated. We deserve a leader in the White House who can be trusted to make government do better what it does best, and get out of our lives where it doesn't belong. We deserve a leader who will tell us the truth.

        Mr. Bush trusts us to make the right decisions. Mr. Gore would rather trust government to make those decisions for us.

        Voters should trust the leader who has faith in the American people. We endorse George W. Bush for president.

       



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