The Presidential Election Of 2000 Essay Research

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The Presidential Election Of 2000 Essay, Research Paper The Presidential election of 2000 was one of the most controversial and divisive political events in recent history, perfectly illustrating the schism between the two political parties and the almost uncannily equality of these groups. However, this election also showed the nation that although many issues keep these two parties in two distinct camps, an equal number of issues drew very similar responses from the Republican candidate, George W. Bush, and the Democratic candidate, Al Gore. Truly, the past few years have seen a gravitation on the parts of both parties towards a middle ground that has frustrated extreme conservatives and liberals; two minor candidates, Ralph Nader and Pat Buchannan, illustrated this

conformity by their bids in this election on, respectively, more liberal and more conservative platforms. Nader’s claims of two identical major party candidates were exagerrated: the two men did have greatly varying viewpoints on such issues as health care, abortion, tax reform, education, and the environment. However, other issues, such as campaign finance reform, gun control, the war on drugs, and foreign policy, have drawn remarkably similar stances from the two men. The issue of taxes became central to the 2000 election when Republican candidate George W. Bush promised to use a third of the current surplus to enact a substantial tax cut. This $1.6 trillion dollar sum would allow a tax cut in each income bracket, an increase in child tax credits and credits for married

couples, and a repeal of the estate tax. Gore wanted to reduce this $1.6 trillion dollar sum to $480 million and limit the tax cuts to those he feels need them most, the tax payers in the lower brackets. He also wanted to create credits for college tuition, preschool, care for an elderly parent, the purchase of a fuel-efficient car, and retirement-savings accounts, all credits designed to give tax breaks to those who need them (Frank 72). The differences in the two candidates’ views on abortion will chiefly influence the appointment of new supreme court justices. Several justices are looking towards retirement within the next four years. Bush would appoint justices such as Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, while Gore would appoint justices such as Stephen Breyer and Ruth

Bader Ginsburg. These justices would also have an effect on vouchers for religious schools and affirmative action. Bush would support banning partial abortions, but, while Gore claims he does not support these abortions, he would oppose banning them. Another crucial difference concerning abortion concerns the abortion pill known as RU-486. This pill is taken orally after conception and kills the fetus as in a doctor assisted abortion. Bush opposes legalizing this pill, while Gore supports it (Frank 72). Bush and Gore differ concerning health care in their methods of ensuring that all families are medically insured. Bush wants to give a $2,000 tax credit to uninsured families in order to encourage the purchase of insurance. Gore would like to rely on the Children’s Health

Insurance Program to allow low- and middle-income children’s parents to buy subsidized insurance. Both candidates would like to give patients the right to sue HMOs, but Bush would like this right to be much more restricted than Gore would. Gore wants to preserve Medicare by pushing $435 billion dollars into the “lockbox”, while Bush would turn Medicare into more of an insurance based operation than social security based, allowing the money to be used for insurance and prescription drugs (Frank 72). Another major bone of contention between the two candidates involves environmental concerns. Bush and Gore disagree on where the needs of the nation outweigh the needs of the earth. A focal point of these environmental concerns has been the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in