Features

Scoring the debate

National | Four issues the major presidential candidates might address during the debate on Oct. 3 and two later meetings

Issue: "Something's rotten," Sept. 30, 2000
1
EDUCATION
PLATFORMS
GORE: Focus on inputs: More "investment" in hiring teachers, rebuilding "crumbling schools, " "reducing class size," developing universal pre-school. No vouchers, ever.
BUSH: Focus on outputs: "reducing achievement gaps," measurable goals, high standards. Vouchers for kids in poor-performing schools.

RHETORIC
GORE: "Working families," "investment," "plans that benefit the favored few."
BUSH: "Accountability, " "local control," "I'm not running for school superintendent."

REALITY
GORE: Gets big bucks from the National Education Association. NEA prospers from universal pre-school and teacher hiring.
BUSH: Has been a big proponent of accountability for public schools and a lukewarm proponent of vouchers.

We see you’ve been enjoying the content on our exclusive member website. Ready to get unlimited access to all of WORLD’s member content?
Get your risk-free, 30-Day FREE Trial Membership right now.
(Don’t worry. It only takes a sec—and you don’t have to give us payment information right now.)

Get your risk-free, 30-Day FREE Trial Membership right now.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Will Bush draw a firm line between the big-government educational approach and a decentralized, competitive model, or will he get into a bidding war?

2
ABORTION
PLATFORMS
GORE: Fervent defender of abortion rights.
BUSH: Against abortion except in cases of rape, incest, and life of the mother.

RHETORIC
GORE: Rights, abortion services, reproductive health care, Supreme Court.
BUSH: Parental consent, partial-birth abortion, waiting periods, Supreme Court.

REALITY
GORE: May have had some pro-life thoughts in the 1980s, but since 1988 has been a tireless defender of abortion liberty. He doesn't even talk about making it rare.
BUSH: Has pushed for incremental limits on abortion, but says that America is not ready for a constitutional amendment to outlaw it because "our hearts are not ready."

WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Will Bush go on offense and highlight Gore's extreme support for abortion, including partial-birth abortion? Will he cast crisis pregnancy centers and adoptions as part of his compassionate conservative message? Or will he punt?

3
CHARITABLE CHOICE
PLATFORMS
GORE: Faith-based organizations may participate in government-funded anti-poverty programs, but are forbidden to evangelize.
BUSH: Faith-based organizations may participate in government-funded anti-poverty programs, and are encouraged to maintain their distinct religious identities.

RHETORIC
GORE: "Harness the best efforts of faith-based organizations"; "unique power of faith."
BUSH: "We will never ask an organization to compromise its core values and spiritual mission to get the help it needs."

REALITY
GORE: Made it clear in his Atlanta speech that he believes in a strict separation between church and state and that faith-based organizations would have to check their core beliefs at the door.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Will Bush point out the conflict of Gore rhetoric with Clinton-Gore practice? Case in point: The USDA took away a Memphis gospel mission's surplus food allotment because it requires participants to attend chapel (see page 20).

4
TAXES
PLATFORMS
GORE: Supports an array of small targeted tax cuts aimed at particular voters.
BUSH: Supports an across-the-board cut in tax rates.

RHETORIC
GORE: "George W. Bush's $1.6 trillion tax cut would benefit a privileged few and leave little to invest in education or make higher education more affordable."

REALITY
GORE: His plan has lots of small print. The college credit is $10,000 lifetime; marriage penalty relief is limited to non-homeowners, etc. Many people think they will benefit, but few will-except for accountants and lawyers.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Will Bush successfully make the Gore plan seem ridiculous and cumbersome?

Comments

You must be a WORLD member to post comments.

    Keep Reading

     

    Interstellar

    No one could ever accuse Christopher Nolan of possessing…

    Advertisement