Would the US be worse off with Democrats in power?

This, and terror, have been the two recent talking points of rather desperate Republicans. Let’s take a look at events that have trespassed since Bush has taken office:

Despite a vow to keep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of the ‘axis of evil,’ North Korea just recently fired a nuclear weapon, and Iran has laughed at possible sanctions from the UN.

We invaded the only country in the axis without WMD. So far, at least 50,000 civilians have been killed, over 2,000 US citizens have been killed, and $500 billion a year is spent on operations there. We’re now preparing to leave the country in sight of a sectarian war that was not there when we invaded. Despite the aim of fighting terrorism, in a September 6 CBS poll, by a four to one margin Americans said the war in Iraq has increased the risk of a terrorist attack.

The budget surplus was quickly turned into a budget deficit. Foreign banks hold trillions of dollars of Treasury bonds.

50 million Americans remain uninsured. The cost of healthcare in America is double that of comparable Western nations, and American life expectancy is lower than in other countries.

The No Child Left Behind Act forces public school students to spend time taking pointless, racist, and classist multiple choice tests, and then denies funds to the schools that need it most, the ones with kids from poor minority groups. Case in point is West Philadelphia High, where I tutor, and where I was instructed to help kids practice for standardized tests, rather than teach them actual material, because the school needs money, and money comes from doing well on standardized tests. The US continues to lag in worldwide mathematics and reading standards.

The homeland security and military budgets have expanded grossly. Despite this, a plane was able to fly into a Manhattan skyscraper two weeks ago. We are still not monitoring our ports. The military is struggling mightily to find new recruits. Our forces are weighed down in Iraq and Afghanistan, and would be unable to respond to a world crisis.

The Hurricane Katrina response was widely regarded to be botched. New Orleans is still in shambles.

Despite being a legal procedure under the Supreme Court ruling Roe vs. Wade, an abortion has become increasingly difficult to receive. There has been an increased emphasis on abstinence-only sex education, which I, at a school where a majority of students are sexually active, find incredibly naive.

The number of lobbyists has tripled.

The only thing that’s been going well (recently) is the economy, which is good. But I can’t look at the other stuff without thinking that Bush has a sort of reverse Midas touch – anything he touches becomes instantly worse. Sure, the Democrats may not be a great option, as Republicans point out. But, if their ineffectiveness at doing anything to Republicans for the past six years is a judge, they’ll be more harmless than anything else. And I’ll take harmless over the current administration and Congress any day.

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