COLUMN: Things on hold for tonight's address

Tonight will be the State of the Union address - one which I will watch in its entirety. It has been a tremendous year for our nation and our president. We've grown and our view on what's important has changed as well.

A poll released last week had an interesting piece of information. In the United States, men usually say that national security should be a top priority for our nation. Since Sept. 11, however, more women than men now say security should be item No. 1. I bring this up because it is a deviation from the norm, much like 2001 was.

What is becoming known, at least to ardent Democrats, as "the Enron scandal" has brought the country back to its pre-Sept. 11 status. While Enron is the focus of most of the complaints, other complaints are now surfacing about George W. Bush's administration.

On Sunday, the Democratic National Committee said it was considering filing its own complaint against the Bush administration - with the Federal Election Commission. The DNC claims senior Bush adviser Karl Rove arranged to have Enron hire key Republican strategist Ralph Reed in 1997, while Bush was considering a run for president.

Everyone is taking his turn at attacking the White House, and in the past few days four Democratic senators wrote the General Accounting Office (GAO) pledging their support for further investigation into Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force. Everything seems to be pending until Bush gives his address today.

There is no doubt in anyone's mind that "crooked" politics were involved in the collapse of Enron. There is no evidence to date, however, that links the White House to Enron's downfall. It is more likely that Democrats are out to get revenge on the Republicans who adamantly investigated Clinton during the Whitewater probe.

If there is a repeat performance, the Democrats will upset the electorate and do more damage to themselves than actual good. At least, that is what Republicans learned after Whitewater, but who said we could learn from one another.

Even with talks of scandals, another successful test of the missile defense program was concluded this week. Take it for what it is worth, but the polls suggest that significant support for the missile defense plan is expected if tests continue to show that we are technologically able to provide such a defense. It is quite possible this plan may be our next foreign policy dilemma even if it proves to be a national security triumph.

I suggest students watch the address tonight. It is a hope of mine that the speech will encompass an array of challenges that face the nation and perhaps even unveil some new policies to overcome them.

Education and economy will probably be the primary topics covered in the address. In case you are wondering, those two issues affect us quite a bit.

Write to Justin at jtsyndram@bsu.edu


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