Students divided on party lines over State of Union

By By Kira Jones

By Kira Jones

During the 2005 State of the Union address President Bush detailed an agenda touching on the issues of Social Security, Iraq’s direction, marriage and stem-cell research.

U students attending a screening of the event sponsored by the College Democrats said the address was an overall success with a few exceptions.

“The speech was well-presented and gives a good direction for the country to go…but I don’t believe they’ll follow through anymore than before,” said Curtis Haring, a U junior and Democrat. “There were a lot of good words, but I don’t think what he is saying will translate into any action.”

President Bush spent time explaining that the United States “must honor Social Security’s great purpose in this century.” He told the country that the collapse of Social Security is no small matter and shouldn’t be to the United States Congress.

He focused on the use of personal accounts to solve the dilemma. These accounts will allow citizens to set aside money on their own, with the potential to pass the money in the account on to children and grandchildren.

Another issue addressed concerned Iraq and the direction the country is headed. Bush said, “We have no desire to impose our government on others.”

The president also reaffirmed his position on the issue of the marriage amendment, stating his goal is to protect the institution of marriage.

The issue of stem-cell research, though briefly touched on, reaffirmed that his approach to it is meant to “serve human dignity.”

Bush said his goal is to “ensure that human embryos aren’t grown for research, nor will they be sold as a commodity.”

Danielle Fowles, chairperson of the College Republicans U Chapter, said the speech was a success.

“One thing that struck me was that Bush really called Congress out, stating that it’s time to set aside party differences in order to work together to reach some very important goals,” Fowles said.

While Bush set goals, some worry he may not follow through.

“We must be weary that he is blurring the lines of reality and rhetoric. He has made it clear that he has a mandate and we may not see as much growth in his second term as we expect,” said Aaron Thompson, a Democrat from Westminster College.

Breanne Miller, president of the College Democrats, said Bush didn’t present a clear plan to fix Social Security.

“It’s interesting how Bush used monetary figures to make it seem more devastating,” she said.

Fowles disagreed.

“Bush spent quite a bit of time on Social Security and provided Americans with a plan,” she said.

Jack Lewis, vice president of the College Democrats, addressed the president’s comments on the marriage amendment.

“He talked about the freeing of slaves…but is pushing for the same oppression of a group in society that wants the same equal privileges, rights and responsibilities under the law,” Lewis said.

Fowles said Bush did a “great” job conveying the United States’ position in the War on Iraq.

“[Bush] conveyed that the United States is not an imperialist government, rather we are helping [Iraqis] achieve their own dreams and goals.”

[email protected]