Your e-mails: Advice for the president
CNN.com readers offer ideas for what Bush should do
(CNN) -- Just a year after President Bush won a second term in a tight election, his administration faces plummeting approval ratings and troubles including rising energy prices, an indictment at the White House and waning support for the war in Iraq.
CNN.com asked readers to pose as advisers to the president and offer suggestions for ways the administration could get back on track. Here is a sampling of those responses, sent in by e-mail. Some of them have been edited for length and clarity.
The president seems unsure of what he is doing. Simplify your goals and put the full weight of your office under them. For this country's sake, you have to succeed.
He has to include Democrats in the process of governing. The "either you're with me or you're against me" attitude is one of his biggest shortcomings. I resent his attitude that because I disagree with him on something makes me somehow less of a citizen.
None. I think he is doing a wonderful job and smiling the entire way. Who protected our country after September 11? Who protects our country today? I think the Democrats should look at their own party that is where the problems lie. There is nothing they can do to discourage our party. Nothing. We are all smiling.
It would be helpful, if Mr. Bush would cancel the tax breaks he gave to the rich and repeal the new bankruptcy law. Many people are losing their jobs, and many are ill and are running out of money. These folks don't know how they are going to keep up financially. We are spending billions on an unpopular war and not taking care of the people at home. Many of us go to work every day, and STILL can't make it. Minimum credit card payments are being doubled, thanks to a new law, and anyone who had trouble making minimum payments before is surely not going to be able to make these doubled payments. It seems so hopeless. This law should be repealed, also.
Stop and listen, Mr. Bush! We've been trying to tell you what's important to us ... who is it you think you serve again? It's adequate health care, a sound economy, right to quality of life, truth in government, get Osama and get out of Iraq. Developing good listening skills is fundamental to taking the actions that will restore your badly tarnished image.
Bush is doing a great job taking care of something that should have been dealt with by the last president: The spread of terrorism. Others (Europe) have been "dealing" with terrorism in a defensive manner for decades, and it's become obvious by our intervention that an offensive strategy is more effective. If we just give up, it will only give those who want to hurt us all the more reason to come back. Your doing a good job, Mr. President. Don't let anyone else tell you different.
President Bush, remember that you are the president of the United States, not the world. We don't have the right to invade other countries, kill their women and children and destroy their business, no matter what. We have so many issues at home that need to be addressed -- so many children living in poverty, so many people without access to health care, so many living on the streets with mental illness because they can't get medicine, so many poor children receiving a second-rate education, so many, many problems. It is time for America to look inward and to heal the wounds we have here. You have said, Mr. President, that you have gone into Afghanistan and Iraq because those people deserve a better life. What about the millions of people here that spend their days wishing, hoping that something, someone could change their life? Bring them food, or a job, or a safe place to live. It is time for America to heal its own wounds, Mr. President.
Mr. President, the very first thing to do is admit you have this country in a mess. Get rid of your advisers and begin to think for yourself. Remember your core supporters do not represent the majority of this country and you are supposed to serve the people of this country; not the other way around. You work for us ... ALL of us.
I believe Harry Truman could provide the best advice, with the simple words "The Buck Stops Here." If this administration would take responsibility for its wrongdoings, rather than placing the blame elsewhere or, worse still, forging ahead regardless of the wisdom of the decision, it would go a long way towards restoring the integrity of our government.
Hi. I am currently serving as a U.S. soldier in South Korea. I will not bash the Army or the president. But what I will suggest is to bring some of the many soldiers home from Iraq. Every day we spend over there, more and more soldiers are dying. This is not a popular war anymore like it was after 9/11. Bush could probably save face for his presidency by showing humility to the U.S. soldiers in both Iraq and Korea and let them come home (even if they just come home for long R&R tours instead of the measly two weeks) and be with their families.
Bush should start listening to the American people by bringing our troops home, removing Rumsfeld, appointing moderate justices and finding Osama. As a citizen who voted for Bush in 2004, I realize it was a huge mistake.
Lose the "stay the course no matter what" philosophy, and the "either you're with us or against us" mindset. It's cost them Colin Powell, and other quality people, including 2,000-plus American soldiers. The Bush gang has isolated itself from the rest of the country, and a lot of the world by being a sealed unit. No matter how good you look at the beginning, eventually you have to change that suit -- it's starting to stink!
The key things that I think President Bush could do: stop trying to fight the fires of the moment (i.e. the Rove/Libby deal and so forth) and actually do something, versus reacting. Unfortunately, he missed a prime time with the Supreme Court nominee. I feel it should have been a person with more technology and privacy experience.
Admit that you and your senior Pentagon staff made mistakes. Replace the senior Pentagon staff and develop a realistic plan to bring some of the troops home.
Mr. Bush's (dis)approval ratings are well-deserved, but if he wants to raise them, he could try to show that he really cares about the middle class, and especially the poor people of this country. So far, tax cuts for the wealthy and his clear preference for corporations over people do not leave much hope for the remainder of his term.
Do something that is genuinely beneficial to the American people. Like capture Osama bin Laden, or bring the troops home from Iraq, or protect whistle-blowers who report corporate crime that is in collusion with government actions of extortion.
I do not think there is a lot he can do to regain the rating he once had. I think pulling our service people out of Iraq would help, but we have gotten ourselves so deep already that pulling out now would only put our country at greater risk of terroristic attacks or worse. And pulling out of Iraq now could likely lead to Saddam regaining control in Iraq.
Push legislation to regulate oil companies as public utilities -- just like electric, natural gas and telephone companies. This would require that companies obtain regulatory approval before raising gas prices.
The president could do numerous things, beginning with changing policies that contribute to animosities and/or hostilities directed toward our country. Stop agitating the peoples of the world by getting in bed with and supporting corrupt so-called tyrant leaders. Alternative fuels and a call for the legalization of medical marijuana and the farming of hemp for industrial uses. Wage a war on government corruption at all levels of government and ease off on at least some of the oppression against the people. Bring the troops home immediately and stop meddling in foreign affairs while this country has so much corruption of its own that it isn't even dealing with. Clean up your own back yard firstly and lead by example. Doing the right thing when you have the power to do so isn't really that hard, but one firstly has to want to do the right thing.
The president needs to remember who elected him, we the poor and middle class people. Not Big Oil, Halliburton or any of the other big business CEOs he has been courting or paying homage to. If he gets rid of us, who will support the country then?
Ignore the posturing of the Democrats and the sniping of the press and get on with the job of governing and leading the country. STAY FOCUSED!
In light of recent news that U.S. oil companies have set record quarterly profits, the president could take a very public position and invite the CEOs of U.S. oil companies to the White House. He could use this opportunity to remind them that they have had enormous success over the years because of the blessings of the remarkable nation they are a part of. Then for the good of the country, he could ask them to return the favor and help the country out by reducing gasoline prices.
If President Bush wants to take back his presidency, he should pay more attention to the wants and needs of the American people, rather than to warring factions within the Republican Party. He should also take responsibility for the failings of his administration, namely Scooter Libby's implicated involvement with the Plame CIA leak and the Department of Homeland Security's inability to deal with natural disasters on American soil. He needs to remember that government is "for the people, by the people" and do his best to serve all of us.
I think Bush can save his office by focusing on improving domestic issues, such as the poor (Katrina), and bring our armed forces back home, address global issues that face our children, such as global warming, support other energy sources for transportation, stop the growing gap dividing the rich and poor.
The best thing Bush could do is revive the military draft. This war is something we should all share in and not just the bottom 25 percent of high school graduates.
Mr. Bush should reach out to ALL Americans, not just his base. He displays a shocking willingness to shock the body politic by playing to the radical right. He should make good on his campaign mantra and be a uniter not a divider. If he won't give ground, he will be ground into meaninglessness as we the people step over him to do what's right for the majority.
Stop spending like a drunken sailor and close the borders and kick out a few million illegals. That will shake loose some jobs and raise wages because of less cheap workers who can work for 12 to 13 bucks and have a nice car or a house.
First, President Bush could help his approval ratings by getting off the evangelical tract! Yes, we are a Christian-founded country, but all Christians are not evangelical! All others have freedom to choose their religion, or none, and he should be inclusive of all.
Give full true backing (no lip service) to the people that voted twice to put a man in office to gain back our country. No euthanasia, no abortion, no persecution of Christians, no judicial tyranny, no homosexual privileges, no attacks on the institution of marriage, no attacks on the family, etc.
I don't think that Bush can get back on track. He is SO FAR off the mainstream track, that I think he has fallen over! He is completely out of touch with America and has no regard for the consequences of his wasteful agenda and corrupt business dealings. I just hope America can emerge in 2008 without being totally destroyed.
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