Every year, many people either physically or mentally compile a list of things for the new year. These are items like: lose weight, earn a promotion, earn a million dollars, etc. Celebrities and world leaders are not exempt from this custom. When our President, George W. Bush, is compiling his list for the new year, here are a few he might consider:
1. Listen to Bush Sr. more. While Bush Sr. may not have had much of a domestic policy, he was capable administrator at foreign policy. This is what Bush Jr. is lacking. He is listening to the wrong people, and needs to seek his father’s advice on foreign affairs.
2. Reduce Rove’s role. Rove couldn’t pull this election through, although he was promising it was going to happen. He is also seen as an invisible figure, or a puppet-master by many in the American public. By limiting his influence, or removing him completely, Bush sends the message to the public that it’s not all about party politics.
3. Temper his optimism with realism. The messages to the American public are that everything is going well. While he is crowing about how wonderfully everything is going, the public realizes that everything is not rosy. It feels like propaganda, and the American public isn’t interested. Change the message to being optimistic with a slice of realism, such as “We are working to accomplish this…” instead of saying, “Mission accomplished.”
4. Don’t neglect democracy at home. Saddam Hussein kept people in secret prisons and used methods that people called torture, because he said it was the only way to keep his people under control. Privacy and social rights were violated in Iraq. But many in the US feel that the exact same things occurred here as as result of trying to spread democracy throughout the world. Americans do not want to spread democracy if it costs their own freedoms and rights. Bush needs to reevaluate the exact reasons why he pursued Hussein, so that he can understand what values Americans hold dear.
5. Do something worthy of being on a coin. The greatest Presidents are ones that were remembered fondly through the years. We honor them by putting them on our currency. While the goal is not to try and get on the currency, Bush should be doing something worthy of being on a coin. People would remember Bush fondly if he brought peace to the Middle East, but not for bringing war there.
6. Don’t neglect your base. Right now, the hard core supporters are the only ones supporting him, and even their support is eroding. Bush must keep his base happy, while bringing more and more swing supporters to his side.
7. Groom a successor. Obviously Dick Cheney isn’t going to replace him as President. So the Republicans need to bring in someone who will not erase Bush’s policies, as if he had never been President. This makes the Republican party seem cohesive against the Democrats.
8. Revisit plan to be a “uniter not a divider”. In the 2000 election, he said he would be able to work with both parties. But the first 6 years were all about shoving his own agenda through, with no compromising with the Democrats. He doesn’t have that ability now, but he needs it to seem like his plan was to cooperate all along.
9. Rethink energy policy. Drilling for more oil is not going to solve this country’s energy problems, and is only delaying the inevitable. Bush needs to explore alternative, preferably renewable, energy sources to make voters happy and give himself a legacy. Most importantly, it weans America off a volatile region of the world.
10. Borrow, repackage, and sell. Some of the best products to hit the market are ones that were thought up by other people. Bush should use this tactic in making his policy. There are good ideas out there, and if he can lay claim to one or two, and re-package it in a way that Americans like, he will have his legacy.
While he may have his own list of resolutions for the new year, George W. Bush could benefit by incorporating any of the suggested new year’s resolutions. In so doing, he can insure that his last two years are significant, and will benefit his party in 2008. If he instead uses the old standby of “I will exercise more”, he won’t be part of his party’s effort in the 2008 elections, and could be doomed to a lame duck presidency.