CNN.com readers to Bush: Change political focus
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(CNN) -- A year after President Bush was elected to a second term, he and his administration face an array of troubles, including rising energy prices, the indictment of a former top White House official and waning public support for the war in Iraq.
How can Bush turn his presidency around?
When CNN.com asked readers to send in their advice for the president, some suggested he change his political focus. Here is a sampling of those responses, some of which have been edited:
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.
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.
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 [Valerie] 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.
Stop listening to the far right. Stop listening to the big corporations. Stop giving away our jobs overseas. Stop giving away the little that we have to the rich. Stop taxing the middle class by reducing the benefits. The so-called no more taxes is just a screen.
Don't worry about being beholden to the far right. Play to the center and build the foundation for the congressional elections and your successor. Do not make the mistake of trying too hard to please a smaller constituency. Help all Republicans to come after you; don't create a backlash.
This president has a 2 percent approval rating among African-Americans. This is a crisis that could further divide this country. Mr. President, reach out to minorities through genuine acts -- merely hiring minorities is not enough.
It is time for you and the mainstream Republican Party to repudiate the neocon faction of the party. If you cannot unload [Karl] Rove and [Dick] Cheney, you must publicly distance yourself from them. You must also distance yourself from the likes of [Bill] Frist, [Tom] Delay and [Rick] Santorum. The Democrats will make 2006 a referendum on the neocons and their disastrous policies. You can save the party, and the country, by beating the Democrats to the punch.
Stop pretending like you want the support of both parties for the war, then turning around and driving a bigger wedge between Democrats and Republicans. [There's] way too much finger-pointing in the current administration. Bush's closest advisers are liars and criminals, and no one seems to care. ... The Christians are not being persecuted; they just cannot inflict their religious beliefs on the country via the government. ... You are not better because you are Christian. If people really want a government that decides what you can believe in and how many babies to have, we should restore the old Iraq, and they can move there or China.
Stay the course. Since you took office, liberals and Democrats have been slinging mud wherever they can in hoping that some of it will stick. Now they're trying to get to you through the courts with these weak accusations. Or by blaming you unfairly for what happened when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, while ignoring the state and local government's role (or lack there of). The fact is the American majority re-elected you because of where you stood on the issues (i.e., Iraq, tax rate cuts, etc.). That's all the approval you need, so stick to your guns.
Stop trying to satisfy people who can't be satisfied. The liberals in Congress are going to complain about everything you do. Keep appointing judges that aren't trying to rewrite the laws. Remind the Democrats that [John] Kerry lost and the voters put Republicans in control of Congress.
The president said he would be a "uniter, not a divider." It's time to unite the nation. Involve the Democrats more in the process. Heck, clean out the Cabinet and appoint half Democrats, half Republicans, then for sure it would be nonpartisan. Even throw a few libertarians and Green Party people in there. Isn't the government "supposed" to be representational of the people? Make the Cabinet representational, too. It would sure keep everyone honest.
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