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

     

    Good credit

    Competency-based programs offer college credentials without the debilitating cost

     

    Soaring sounds

    Three recent albums highlight the aesthetic and emotional range…

     

    Numbers matter

    Understaffing the U.S. effort in Iraq from the beginning…

    Advertisement