today in black history

July 31, 2021

Civil rights leader Whitney M. Young, Jr., who led the National Urban League for 11 years, was born on this date in 1921 in Lincoln Ridge, KY.

How Much Did that Beer Really Cost?

POSTED: September 16, 2008, 12:00 am

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During the 2000 Presidential campaign, Sam Adams partnered with Roper Starch to poll people on whom they would rather have a beer with: Al Gore or George W. Bush. The results showed that, even though the various polls showed Bush was in a statistical dead heat with Gore for the Presidential election, 40% compared to 37% preferred Bush to Gore when choosing a drinking buddy. So in what is considered the most hotly contested presidential election in our country’s history, voters seemingly based their votes on likeability and personality instead of the issues and qualifications. This same theme of “who you’d rather have a beer with” was prevalent throughout Bush’s successful 2004 campaign, painting Bush as more likeable than his opponent, John Kerry. It is important to revisit this approach to selecting a president as our country is embroiled in yet another hotly contested presidential election.

Since taking office in 2001, President Bush, with the help of a Republican controlled Congress has waged war in two countries, presided over the largest expansion of government in our nation’s history, passed one of the largest tax cuts in U.S. history with his $1.3 trillion tax cut in 2001, passed the U.S. Patriot Act, presided over the debacle known as the Katrina relief effort and guided our country from a budget surplus of $128 billion when he took office in 2001 to a projected record deficit of $482 billion for the 2009 budget year.

In his first term, Bush was able to parlay September 11th into war with Iraq with what is now known to be bogus intelligence. The war in Iraq costs $10 billion a month and has led to the loss of over 4,000 Americans and over 100,000 Iraqis. In his second term, Bush “led” the relief effort for Katrina, arguably the worst natural disaster in this country’s history. There are still thousands of victims who still live in FEMA trailers and vast areas of our country’s Gulf Coast area that have yet to be rebuilt. Did we have the right person in the White House during two of the most critical times in our country’s history? Or did we have the guy that we’d most like to grab drinks with? And for the record, Bush gave up drinking in 1986, supposedly.

President Bush has had the highest job approval rating of 90% after September 11 and currently holds the lowest job approval rating ever for a U.S. President of 28%. We have two presidential candidates of which one has voted with this president 90% of the time. Initially, McCain campaigned on experience while Obama campaigned on change. After realizing that experience had little traction with independents and swing voters, McCain now can be heard screaming change at every campaign stop and every appearance on television. So now that both candidates make a similar charge of change, what could possibly sway this election in the favor of one or the other? Who do you like more? Whose personality is more down to earth? Or simply, who’d you rather have a beer with? When making this very important decision, instead of asking yourself who’d you rather grab a beer with, ask yourself how much did that last beer cost me and my country?

Dan J. Nunn, II.

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