Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bush Who?

Jeb Bush Talks Politics at Hofstra University 

By Alexandria Jezina

      Usually when one thinks of Bush, our former Presidents George W. or George Sr. come in mind. On the liberal side of politics, the name Bush has a negative connotation of not necessarily failed administrations but not successful ones either. The Gulf War of 1990-1991 and lengthy American military occupation  to Afghanistan also are attached to the infamous Bush name. However, Jeb Bush is not his father nor brother and on Wednesday September 19th was able to exhibit his own separate personal and political identity at Hofstra University in Hempstead, Long Island.
     The former Governor of Florida,began by talking about the utmost importance of debates using his father and brother as examples and followed by describing the main factors needed in fixing America's economy. According to Jeb, the steps to getting America on track to having a sustainable economy is comprised of the following four key elements: energy strategy, immigration policy , best means of regulating our society, and education reform. Not only do we need to focus on the categories but we need to have the right way of addressing theses reforms for our economy to work. 
      Jeb's political views on the mentioned four categories can be summarized as the following:
Photo Credit:
AP Photo found from Tampa Bay Times.
  1. Energy Strategy: America needs to tap into our natural resources at home by using a combination of drilling and hydro-fracking, instead of relying on foreign oil from countries who don't like us.
  2. Immigration Policy: Contrary to main Republican ideals, Jeb's immigration ideology differs. He believes that we should reform our  legal immigration policy by making it more efficient and that those who are already here illegally can stay, but must pay penalties and fulfill requirements such as speaking English.
  3. Regulating Our Society: We need to regulate our society in a way fit to serve the 21st century instead of relying on outdated policies and laws that over-complicate the system.
  4. Education Reform: American's spend the most money on their education system in the world, while only a third of those coming out of the K-12 system are career or college ready. We should impose a policy like that of Florida's A-F grading system, which makes states accountable for their education system. 
     In my opinion, Jeb had a set of solid ideologies that sounded like it could work for our country, possibly without being impeded by partisan bickering. As a moderate Republican, Jeb believes in policies that both political sides could compromise on without feeling completely cheated and abandoning their beliefs. Yes, environmental fanatics are not going to be too pleased by hydro-fracking techniques, but is it not better than a country dependent on foreign oil? And yes, extreme conservatives might not agree with his immigration policy, but shouldn't those who worked so hard for their American dream and manage to follow requirements and pay the penalty of coming to this country illegally deserve to stay in their home?
     The event ended in a Q&A with one questioner asking "Why don't you run for President?" Jeb replied by casually stating that he has a family and other commitments, giving off the impression of a normal, down-to-earth guy. For the conservative stereotype that's associated with many Republicans, Jeb Bush was a breath of fresh air. Hearing Jeb speak in person was a great experience for me personally and I would recommend anyone, no matter their political stance, to see him speak if they have the opportunity to.

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