Steve Gerhke and Eryn Green

Will the United States see four more years of President Bush?

It’s becoming a commonality in presidential races, but according to late night Tuesday numbers, the presidential race was less “too close to call.”

While radio and television can constantly update incoming numbers, the papers are forced to run with the latest available numbers before deadline.

As of midnight, President Bush had a 249-216 lead in electoral votes on Sen. John Kerry, but neither candidate had conceded, according to The Associated Press.

Since no winner has been declared, it serves America to take a look at how the nation could change in the coming four years, given the candidates’ promises.

If Kerry Wins:

America can look for changes in both foreign and domestic policy. The senator has touted changes he will implement in national security, the economy and health care, among other issues.

Much of the senator’s ambition may be limited by the war in Iraq and the make- up of the Legislature.

Kerry’s leadership style has been called more collaborative and focused on consultation rather than impulsive, but the Republican majority has held in both the House and Senate.

However, assuming a few of Kerry’s promises pan out, the U.S. would face a number of changes in the coming four years.

Kerry has said he would make the United States stronger at home and more respected abroad.

He wants to establish a true coalition of international forces that will foster a respectable democratic system in Iraq and instill a positive quality of life there.

In an effort to fix the “wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time” upon which the Bush Administration stumbled, Kerry said he will involve the United Nations in the rebuilding efforts and continue to turn power over to the Iraqi people.

“I can make America safer than President Bush has made us,” Kerry said in the first debate. “America is safest when we are leading the world and establishing true alliances.”

In a fashion dissimilar from the Bush administration’s unilateral approach, Kerry has promised to reach out to Muslims whom Bush has been accused of alienating.

However, Kerry has warned he will not hand control over our national security to foreign entities.

“I believe in being strong,” he said. “We will hunt down and kill the terrorists. We must be smart and not divert our attention from Osama bin Laden to Iraq. I will not take my eye off the goal.”

Kerry added he would improve homeland security, implementing searches of cargo holds in airliners.

The senator has criticized the Bush administration for inadequately equipping the military, both in armor and troops and said he wants to add 40,000 troops to the effort.

Domestically, Kerry said he will roll back tax cuts for the upper 1 percent, doing away with corporate tax loopholes and providing more relief for middle-class Americans. He wants to add 10 million jobs to the market as well.

Kerry has emphasized the need to provide the same affordable top-grade health care that is available to congressmen, senators, and to all Americans.

If Bush Wins:

The president has defended his policies and ridiculed Kerry’s promises, saying the senator would have to raise taxes to carry through with his intentions for domestic policy. These critiques of Kerry can be looked to as an indicator of the President’s likely behavior in the future.

In other words, look for more of the same if Bush wins. What that means for Americans obviously depends largely on each citizen’s respective partisan leanings-Bush supporters can expect four more years of acceptable policy and Kerry supporters can look forward to a taxing and unpopular term of office. Bush has not expressed regret in unpopular decisions, which he has acknowledged making in the past, and this unwillingness to compromise which is so unpopular among Kerry supporters is very much something Bush supporters can expect to continue in the future.

Bush has pledged to remain steadfast in his battle for Iraq until sovereignty is fully handed to the Iraqi people. The duration of this battle is still yet to be determined.

However, representatives and senators from the Democratic Party have, to this point, pushed for that legislation.

Bush has referred to Iran and North Korea as players in the Axis of Evil and could lead the U.S. into a second war, possibly requiring a draft reinstatement because of a shortage of American forces. There is also a potential for invasions into other Middle Eastern countries if the Bush administration deems them terrorist threats capable of foreign soil attacks.

On a less war-oriented note, if Bush were to win four more years in office as president, then this could be seen, in one light, as potentially helpful for Democrats in the future. It is often the case that when a highly contested two-term partisan presidential rule comes to an end, a radical swing toward the other end of the political spectrum takes place. In this situation, that may mean that four years from now, if there is still widespread dissatisfaction with the Bush administration and its policies, a hearty push toward a Democratic president in 2008 could be a real possibility.

Regardless of what takes place in 2008, the fact remains that little change in terms of economic, foreign and domestic-safety policy will be seen from the incoming Bush administration.

The predictable course of the Bush administration is not one that will stray from the staunch path it has followed to this point.

[email protected]

[email protected]