Bush and the issues: 1988
Equal Rights Amendment
“I am committed to equal rights for women. I believe that we can and do ensure equal rights for women more effectively through state and federal statutes tailored to need the specific needs of women- but I do not support the ERA.
“I believe in equal rights for all Americans- including women-and that begins with fundamental economic rights that our Administration worked to provide through economic expansion- the longest peacetime expansion in our history.”
Ethics in government and business
“It really is disturbing when those privileged positions fail to uphold the trust that is place d in them. Public service has been hurt by individuals who lacked the judgment or character to put the public’s business above their own self-interest. And it’s as big a problem on Wall Street as it is in Washington. Those of us in leadership positions in government, and in all walks of life, must make something very clear. Unethical behavior will not be tolerated!
“We need a revival of traditional ethical standards. Despite our national prosperity, many Americans are concerned that we have strayed from our fundamental values. But more red tape is not the answer. You can’t legislate ethical behavior. You can lead by example.”
“I’m pleased by what I would describe as a resurgence, an overdue resurgence, of traditional values. Values that derive from our broad Judeo-Christian heritage. They are not overtly religious. In some cases they could simply be called ‘common sense,’ or ‘what works.’
“You know, we’ve engaged in a lot of social experimentation over the last 25 years. The truth is that much of it, from permissiveness to promiscuity, from open classrooms to open marriages, just hasn’t worked. Much of it was destructive to our family structure.
“Now, let me say that social attitudes will always be much more powerful than government policies. But at the margins, government can act in a positive way to help the family.
“Government can provide leadership from what Teddy Roosevelt called the ‘The bully pulpit,’ and we can do a little more.
“For example, we should provide welfare benefits that keep families together, not split them apart. The current system is a disgrace.
“Secondly, we should enforce the responsibilities that fathers have for the families they create. It is a mockery of justice that fathers can avoid making child support payments ordered by the courts. We should go after them hard.
“Family is not a neutral word for me, it’s a powerful work, full of emotional resonance. I was been fortunate to have a strong family grow up around me.”
Gays - minority status
“I believe all Americans have fundamental rights guaranteed in our Constitution-rights such as freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the right to a trial by jury. No one group should have special privileges granted by government.”
National Defense - SDI
“Successful research on SDI can lead to an effective defensive shield, one hat lifts from the shoulders of mankind the fear of nuclear annihilation. It is both moral and logical to look for a solution that is better than mutually assured destruction. The SDI has strong moral underpinnings…A deterrent strategy based on strategic defenses-coupled with deep reductions in offensive forces-could offer us the most stable and secure environment of all. Isn’t it better, as we move forward in the nuclear age, to put weapons at risk, not people? This is the moral underpinning of our program. We are undertaking the SDI research and testing as permitted under the ABM Treaty. We are also trying to move our research and testing programs forward so that we can make an informed decision on SDI deployment in the early 1990s.
“We should pursue arms negotiation agreements with the Soviet Union under the four criteria which have been used since the beginning of the Reagan Administration. We are pursuing the deep cuts to equal levels with agreements that can be verified and hat will enhance stability. These principles have brought us close to success in the INF agreement. In this context, we see SDI as an insurance policy, not a bargaining chip. SDI has helped bring the Soviets back to the bargaining table where they are now negotiating seriously.”
NATO and the defense of Europe
“Four years ago, in an earlier phase of the arms talks now going on in Geneva, I had the job of consulting with our NATO partners on the issues involved. I met with our allied leaders and explained that we had to counter the Soviet monopoly in intermediate-range nuclear weapons. Europe and the United States scored a great victory. Four years ago, the Soviet Union was trying to convince NATO to disarm unilaterally. Today, with the Soviet Union facing a unified Western Europe and America, we are negotiating mutual and verifiable arms reductions.
“It all carries an important lesion. Strength and solidarity are the linchpins of our NATO alliance. They are what brought the Soviets to the bargaining table to negotiate seriously.
“Our position on these points is loud and clear. NATO is the cornerstone of our national security policy, of our strategy for peace. We will not allow the Soviets to split the Alliance or to weaken it.”
"I support he Republican Party platform on this issue:
We will vigorously enforce Constitutional laws to control obscene materials which degrade everyone, particularly women, and depict the exploitation of children.
We call upon the Federal Communications Commission…to strictly enforce the law regarding cable pornography and the abuse of telephone service for obscene purposes.”
Separation Church and State.
“America was founded as, remains, and will always be a ‘nation under God.’ The values religion imparts are reflected in our Constitution and in our daily lives, and believe strongly that morality and ethics must always stand at the center of American society and government. ‘One nation under God’ belongs in the Pledge of Allegiance. ‘In God We Trust’ belongs in our currency.
“America is a land of religious pluralism, and this is one of our society’s great strengths. We must be tolerant of all religious beliefs. Harsh experience taught our founding fathers that when one religious group obtains control of the political system it sometimes seeks to impose its views on others.
“I believe in the separation of church and state. But although government should remain neutral toward particular religions, it need not remain neutral toward traditional values that Americans support.”
“The promotion of freedom and democracy around the world is the bedrock principle of U.S. foreign policy. Market economics, not the socialist economics, have been the most successful for economic progress in the developing world. In southern Africa and throughout the world, we will encourage freedom and democracy and the extension of the capitalist system. That is the surest way to ensure peace and prosperity.
“Let me be very specific: I intend to help the freedom fighters of the world fight for freedom. In the hills of Afghanistan-we will help them. In this plains of Africa-we will help them. And in a place called Nicaragua, we will help the Contras win democracy.
“A negotiated political settlement between the Angolan government and UNITA is also the only viable, long-term solution to their ongoing civil war. The Angolan government remains in power only through the presence of Soviet and Cuban ttroops. The United States will support the UNITA freedom fighters oslong as the Angolan government retains foreign troops. Reconciliation with democracy is the only viable political solution. The United States supports a democratic government in Angola.
“The United States is successfully encouraging the government of Mozambique to distance itself from Soviet influence. We want them to hasten their pace of reform. We are using diplomacy and other incentives to further this process. We are working toward this goal with our allies who share our overall aims in southern Africa. We encourage an early end to hostilities with the insurgent forces. We believe that apolitical solution, not a military one, is the answer, and we encourage a dialogue with a view toward a reconciled national unity government, as the Roman Catholic Church has endorsed.”