Tuesday, October 15, 2019

American Presidents Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words

American Presidents - Essay Example There is no doubt that the contrast between the two is stark, and that Bill Clinton was a far superior leader and far more worthy of the respect, admiration and gratitude of Americans. The reputation of the United States is the first area in which the difference between Bush and Clinton is stark. Under Clinton, the United States respected multilateral agreements, sought consensus among the international community on matters of great import, projected the power of the United States in a non-arrogant manner, and respected human rights. For example, Clinton pursued and successfully achieved treaties that grew and strengthened international trade, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). He also helped negotiate the Kyoto Protocol against global warming. In addition, he utilized U.S. military power when necessary and within the context of NATO, as was the case in Kosovo. Because of his active solicitation of and respect for the opinions and influence of other nations, the United States enjoyed a high degree of respect and admiration throughout the world. On the contrary, Bush has led ... backpedaled on security assurances that had been made to North Korea, effectively provoking that country to resume nuclear weapons development and causing them to return to caustic anti-American propaganda and posturing. In addition, he pulled out of the Kyoto accord on global warming, effectively leaving much of the rest of the world high and dry when it comes to efforts to fight against the growing environmental calamity. Most importantly, he thumbed his nose at the world when deciding to unilaterally invade Iraq on a false pretext, and then arrogantly recast the Iraq war as the front line in the "war on terror" when it became apparent that his WMD pretext for the invasion was bogus. In short, the Bush presidency has personified the "ugly American" stereotype of the loose cannon cowboy blindly shooting first and asking questions later. As such, America's reputation in the world has never been lower. A second issue that illustrates a wide gulf between the administrations of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton is that of the economy and the federal budget. Under Clinton, America's economy sustained the longest and strongest economic expansion in history, adding jobs at an unprecedented clip, growing people's investment portfolios astronomically, and prompting an improvement in the quality of life of Americans at all levels of the socio-economic spectrum. Clinton got elected largely based on a groundswell of popular discontent with the state of the economy under his predecessor, George H.W. Bush. He did not disappoint, as few would argue that the economy did not grow at an amazing clip that benefited nearly all Americans. By contrast, George W. Bush has led America into a period of economic stagnation, essentially returning the country to the state it was in when Clinton

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