EDITORIAL: President provides strengh, leadership in troubled times

Timothy Schmidt

When President Bush delivered his annual State of the Union address on Tuesday, he gave an inspiring speech focused on the defeat of terrorism, the defense of our nation and the reviving of our economy.He devoted the bulk of the speech to our current war on terrorism, and rightly so. The President welcomed Hamid Karzai, the new interim leader of Afghanistan, while praising the efforts of our nation’s troops fighting abroad. President Bush noted that the United States would not act rashly, but would not stand idly by while terrorists continued to plot destruction. “The campaign may not be finished on our watch,” President Bush cautioned, “yet it must be and it will be waged on our watch.”

Our nation is currently in a recession, and deficit spending is a necessary evil in a time like this. Our first priority must be apprehending those who inflicted so much pain on our nation more than four months ago and bringing them to justice. As President Bush said in his speech, “Whatever it costs to defend our country, we will pay.”

Party leaders have already begun bickering over the details of the budget that President Bush outlined, as they are wont to do. But for 48 minutes on Tuesday evening, the nation came together as our leader stood up and told those who might seek to harm the United States that “you will not escape the justice of this nation.”

The State of the Union address has historically been a time for visionary leadership, and that is what President Bush has provided. Legislation rarely ever ends up exactly as the President originally proposes it after Congress gets a hold of it. But the process needs to start somewhere, and our President has outlined a bold strategy to bring terrorists to justice, keep America safe and reviving our flagging economy.

He chose issues that ordinary Americans care about, whether they are Republicans, Democrats or somewhere in between: welfare reform, the environment, the safety of retirement plans, health coverage, and so on.

The State of the Union speech gives our President an opportunity to look over our nation and comment on where we have been, where we stand, and where we should head. While lawmakers will haggle over the details and debate bills in committees, President George W. Bush has given us the broad outlines of where the debate should begin.