The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


SOTU: Abridged

One word sums up President Bush’s State of the Union address: freedom. While his concerted effort of making sure democracy spreads across the world is a keystone of his presidency, there was a huge disconnect from the speech and the American people.

As expected, the president spoke once more of the spreading of democracy around the world. While he did name nations like North Korea, Syria and Burma, he failed to name countries like Saudi Arabia and China.

When he did mention Saudi Arabia later on in the address, he made sure to take care on the words he used in promoting democracy in the oil-rich country.

The first half of the speech dealt with his one strength among the public, national security. But, the public wanted to hear first about issues that affected them more directly. With about two-thirds of the American population believing that the country is not headed in the right direction, it was his duty to give detailed examples on how to handle domestic issues, not spending about half of the speech on repeated themes of freedom.

President Bush also set out to lower the cost of health expenses. I have a proposal that has been neglected: allowing the re-importation prescription drugs from Canada, which was supported by both Republicans and Democrats in Congress but vetoed by the president.

Plus, these are drugs that are made right here in the United States and shipped up to Canada. Now, I have never been to Canada myself, but I doubt it looks like an unregulated, third world country, as described by opponents of the re-importation of drugs.

If we can import cars manufactured in China, which will be a reality in just a few years’ time, we can re-import drugs from Canada. Because, as we know, Americans would rather have a car with “Made in China” written on it than have American-made prescription drugs back in their own country.

Once again, we heard how he wants to make the current tax cuts permanent after 2011. How can revenues remain at the level they are while our military is currently engaged in two major conflicts overseas? Tax cuts will only put more pressure on the military in Iraq and force more domestic spending to be cut.

Being a political science major, I clearly understood what the president meant by “protectionists” and “competition,” but the average American wage-worker watching at home with his family might have trouble comprehending what these terms mean to his prospects of keeping his job. Bush being the folksy guy he portrays himself as, we are seeing a person who has been spending more and more time in Washington with his choice of words.

Also, the president’s portion on Hurricane Katrina did not address how the Department of Homeland Security plans to improve response for the next major hurricane that might threaten the Gulf or Atlantic coast. The single paragraph the president mentioned about Katrina must have left many in New Orleans scratching their heads.

Bush also spoke of personal responsibility. While promoting actions, such as abstinence, are a necessary portion of teaching responsibility, he once again shied away from educating about safe sex.

The reality will remain that many young people will engage in sexual activity. Ignoring safe sex will only lead to the rise in illegitimate children, abortions and the transmission of sexually-transmitted diseases such as AIDS. If he is serious about tackling AIDS, he must include safe sex in a personal responsibility program.

Americans are also not concerned with the threat of “activist judges.” Referring to activist judges in the same context of deadly hurricanes and diseases was laughable at best. It was like hearing Stephen Colbert putting bears in his “Threat Down.” There was also more talk and no real action on embryonic stem-cell research that might save lives. The best the president can do by scaring the public about it is by claiming human-animal hybrid creatures will appear in this country. Remember, if stem-cell research is expanded, centaurs will walk the streets.

To sum up last night’s State of the Union address: It was full of rhetoric and short on substance. It will be interesting how many of his proposals can get through a bitterly-divided Congress. As we remember, several of his proposals from last year’s address ran into the ground, such as social security reform, immigration reform and spending cuts. If this year was anything like last year, it will look very similar.

Shaun Wyche is a senior political science major. He may be contacted at [email protected].

More to Discover