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More Than a President This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     We are a great nation, no matter what anyone says. Our country’s struggles for freedom and justice should not be taken for granted. Every four years, we have the opportunity to make one of the most important decisions for America’s future. Our country needs more than just a president - it needs a good leader.

When I say opportunity, I’m talking about the presidential elections. As citizens, it’s our obligation to make sure the president meets and exceeds our standards. What is it to be free if you don’t take your freedom seriously? Elections are not to be taken lightly.

To be honest, in the 2004 election, I didn’t consider either candidate qualified to lead our country. Bush had already failed after the decisions of his first term, at least in my eyes, and John Kerry was portrayed as being indecisive, a quality we definitely didn’t need. He had, at least, shown interest in helping our people, though, instead of trying to liberate countries, but he had made so many promises that they seemed unrealistic. He promised better employment rates, education, higher teacher salaries, affordable healthcare for everyone, et cetera. That’s a lot to deliver in four years. It was an attempt, which looked a bit desperate, to get as many votes as possible. Whatever the reason, he lost, so the Bush administration continues to govern our country at our own expense.

After being entrusted with the power of the presidency for his first term, Bush rushed us into a war based on an excuse of confiscating “weapons of mass destruction” which were never found - and it turns out there was next to zero evidence of their existence to begin with. But that matter was put aside when he decided there was a different threat we could still “confiscate” - Saddam Hussein. Bush claimed it was for the Iraqis’ own good, but it seems to me that Bush was not pursuing this entirely out of good morals.

When we went to war as the most powerful country on earth against a divided Iraq under a dictator’s leadership, it was assumed that the conflict would end quickly. It’s clear now that that we underestimated the situation and 2,600 American soldiers and 40,000 Iraqis have paid for that miscalculation. Why are we doing this? America didn’t want this when it elected Bush. Iraq is not being liberated in the way we’d like to imagine. Iraqis and Americans alike are being slaughtered every day. And for what, exactly? Our military is not fighting for America, it’s fighting for Iraq, a country still divided and leaderless with many residents who oppose our help, or as many see it, interference. Are our soldiers dying for a country who didn’t want our presence to begin with?

Our candidates seemed unfit for the role of the most powerful person in the world. We’ve been fed empty promises, half-truths and even lies by our government, and Bush hasn’t been doing wonders for our country’s image, either. We aren’t looked upon by the rest of the world in the favorable way we once were. But our representatives don’t seem to consider making allies a top priority. I believe we are in need of good leadership.

Where are our modern-day General Washingtons or Honest Abes? We need someone who can handle the responsibility of being America’s leader, someone who’s really for the people, all the people. Bush is currently the president of this free nation, but I don’t believe he has what it takes to be its leader.

A man named Arnold H. Glasgow once said, “A good leader takes more than his share of the blame, and less than his share of the credit.”

We need more than just a president.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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