In the run up to the 2004 American presidential election we asked a panel of voters to share their views and predictions ahead of the outcome. Here, on Inauguration Day, they look ahead to President George W Bush's second term.
MEET THE PANEL
Name: Jim Hill
Lives: Sudbury, Massachusetts
Job: Equipment finance manager
In 10 words or less: "Family man, business owner, community volunteer, gardener, fisherman, sports fan"
In his second term I expect Bush and the Republicans to do what any majority party would do - listen to all citizens, including the ones that voted them into office based on the agenda they laid out.
I expect an aggressive domestic agenda that will include the restructuring of intelligence services, improvement of the failing schools system, and the reform of social security.
Bush will continue challenging the UN and other governments to be accountable for their actions.
I also expect that he will promote cooperation between countries in the war on terror, and prove that peace will only come from freedom.
Bush realises that an individual's freedom and education ensure prosperity, and that this is the foundation of peace.
History has proven it is the lack of any one of these in a society that creates danger for the rest of the world.
People will fight to protect their freedom and prosperity and people without freedom can be forced to fight to take it away from others. But those who have individual freedom and prosperity do not fight to take it away from others.
Bush recognises that all people will choose the hardship of freedom over being governed by tyranny, if given a choice.
Soon, almost 50 million people will be out from under tyranny and have freedom and self-government due to the leadership of Bush and true allies of the US.
If other governments can put aside their own self-interest and join Bush to promote freedom and democracy in the Middle East, peace may have a chance.
Jim, you say that the Iraqi people will soon "have freedom and self-government due to the leadership of Bush and true allies of the US". Why then did Bush not mention Iraq once in his speech? Is it because he knows Iraq is going badly and doesn't want people to think about the carnage happening over there? If not this then why?
Alan, Perth, Scotland
Jim, you claim that Bush is establishing a democracy in Iraq, but let me ask, are we to expect the same kind of democracy the US established in South America? In Chile in 1973 for example, where the US put billions of dollars to support the extreme right wing candidate, officially to support democracy but in reality they helped to put General Pinochet into power, a dictator known for some of the worst tyranny ever seen. Is this the kind of democracy we are to expect after Bush's actions in Iraq?
Christine Berter, Gothenburg, Sweden
What about the millions of starving people around the world? The Iraqis may have been under a dictatorship but at least they had food, water, electricity and security. If Bush wanted to he could have ended world hunger and provided medical care and shelter to the millions who need these things. Tax cuts to the rich cost $1.1 trillion. America needs a secured amount of oil in the future. It uses 200 of the 500 million barrels produced each year. Do you really think George Bush believes in freedom?
Daniel Burman, Radlett, UK
Thanks for your comments, Jim. Your comment, "those who have individual freedom and prosperity do not fight to take it away from others", proves that propaganda does work. We have installed a puppet regime in Iraq and that passes for freedom?!
John Jalkanen, Indiana, USA
The idea of holding the UN to account is a joke. There were no terrorists in Iraq before the US invaded and occupied it. By virtue of his actions, ignoring the considered view of the UN, not only has George Bush created a fertile breeding ground for more international terrorists, he has managed to undermine support for the so called war on terrorism by creating hostility to the US in the parts of the world which hitherto were sympathetic.
Christopher Burke, Punta Gorda, Florida, USA
Jim is simply standing by the man who seems to have handled the country in a way that seems to suit his best interests, without regard to how it affects the people around him. I'm sure his views will turn around the minute Bush starts implementing policies that do not suit his interests.
Gene, New York, USA
Jim hits the nail right on the head. Bush had a huge hole to dig the US out of from the previous administration. UN resolutions promising "serious consequences" that were adopted by the security council now have a tangible result associated with them - regime change. The previous administration allowed years of starving Iraqis under a failed complacent policy. Today we see the suffering and pain every day of the people of Iraq. And the blame is placed solely on the US. So be it.
The fact is we are at last 'seeing' the suffering of the people, now trying to carve out a free country, and not the staged elections and parades of a dictator. We are seeing people working towards elections, where previously you had people taken away by "security forces" in droves, never to return. Is the Iraq war pretty? No. Was it about WMD? No. Was it entirely about oil? No. Was it entirely about freedom of Iraqis. Again, No. Was it the right thing to do? Yes.
Rich, Portland, USA
How can Jim in all honesty expect Bush to hold other nations accountable when Bush accepts no accountability himself? Bush does not listen to the American people. The man that claimed to be "a uniter not a divider" has divided the country to a greater extent than has been seen in a lifetime.
James Stanforth, Ft Lauderdale, Fl, USA
Mr Hill's views on Bush are laughable, right down to his final sentence: "If other governments can put aside their own self-interest..." What about American self-interests? I guess ours is much more important and acceptable than anyone else's, right? I am amazed that those who still support Bush and his administration do not see that he is doing more harm than good, not only for this country but for the entire world.
Sean Rodriguez, Staatsburg, NY, USA
Jim, respectfully, how is it possible for you to demand accountability from the UN and 'other governments', but have no expectation of your own government to do so?
JR, Toronto, Canada
If people like Jim have taken the administration's hawkish line what hope is there for the doves on Capitol Hill. Watch out world - here comes Bush II, the reckoning!
Rick Hough, Cheshire, UK
"But those who have individual freedom and prosperity do not fight to take it away from others." Unless they're American, I guess. Bush will continue to challenge the UN, true. I don't see how that is a good thing. He will continue to challenge international standards on human rights. What kind of co-operation is Ms Rice currently promoting with Iran? These are dark days. The rest of the world are sick of US greed. I hope Bush does focus on domestic issues, and leaves the rest of the world alone.
Arthur Magill, Nottingham, UK
Jim states that he expects Bush to promote cooperation between countries in the war on terror. Why would Jim assume this given that Bush's policies to date have created well documented, dangerous divisions between the leading industrialised nations? Is Jim living in an alternative universe to the rest of us?
Morro, Leeds, UK
Jim, you are missing the point. The two main issues that face the US far outweigh any domestic policies. Bush's foreign policy has promoted and continues to promote world terrorism. This has been true to a lesser extent for previous presidents. Bush's imposition of 'democracy' on a sovereign state through the invasion of Iraq has created many thousands of new terrorists. No country has the right to impose their view of the correct political system on another state through force. The second, and probably more dangerous issue, is that of environmental damage. Bush's isolationist attitude needs to change.
Bob, Oxford, UK
I think Jim has made his choice and voted accordingly. President Bush was elected fairly, so now is not the time for foreign governments to pick on personalities. The legacy of this duly elected US Government should be looked at solely on its merits and its performance. If policies do not perform people should remember exactly who endorsed them, and what they said, and what they promised. There is no point in being rude about the present American government, rather just remembering what was said and comparing it to what actually happens. That way people can attribute appropriate blame. I think this is what Jim is saying.
James Tierson, London, UK
I'm simply speechless. I don't think Jim would expect Bush to accomplish any of the foreign policy that is laid out here if he had been paying attention to what Bush was doing in his first term in office. And Bush's 'goals' for America itself is not geared towards helping all Americans. He has to understand that.
Robert Powers, USA
Jim is probably right. George Bush will achieve his aggressive agenda for the second term, just like the Democrats did in the 1960s. This we all know led to a conservative backlash. Therefore I cannot wait for Bush to achieve his goals which will lead this nation to the right path.
Pavitra Pandey, Rancho Cucamonga. CA, 91739
This man like the other 61 million (and Bush himself) has become slave to his own rhetoric. So long as these people continue to make no acknowledgement of the consequences of their actions, they will continue to speak in nice, flowery catch phrases while their actions speak to their more selfish and oblivious intent. It is just a shame that those from other countries can see through the facade of empty words more so than those charged with voting for such a mongrel as is Bush.
Corey Miller, Philadelphia, USA
How can you say think this man is about democracy and freedom? Bush is the biggest tyrant in the world today, I am only disappointed that the English appear to be his lap dog and legitimise his position. How can he stand there and talk about peoples freedoms as he breaks every Geneva convention in detaining prisoners of war. He has no respect for other countries or the UN and his dictatorial approach has done more damage to world peace than anyone else since the Second World War.
Greg Roblertson, England (Currently residing in Nagasaki, Japan)
Jim. I am Iraqi and I will state it to you directly in the face. 1) Iraqis are not safer now than before...so what kind of freedom is it when you are not safe?! 2) The world is definitely not safer (ask the Turks, the Spanish, the Iraqis, the French, the British and anyone else). I know it is that you and your likes have isolated themselves in a fortress away from the rest of the world. But when will you realise (not in words and slogans only) that your security lies within the security of your neighbourhood - and that is the world as total. The only way you can achieve this is by being truly fair and honest in what you preach. Be the example, not the parrot.
Munir El Kadi, Iraqi in UAE
Right now Jim, the United States is the greatest danger to the world. George Bush is setting a very dangerous precedent with his pre-emptive style of war. I agree that freedom is an important idea for the entire world, but we need to be justified, and unified as a country before we march off to war. People's human right have been ignored in the Middle East, as well as other areas around the world, for decades and we have chosen to ignore the issues. I whole heartedly disagree with Jim Hill, and I think he will realize his error in voting for Bush in the coming four years.
Colin Broadwater, Atascadero, USA
Unfortunately Jim's comments show the core problem at the heart of the US's interaction with the rest of the world. Co-operate or you are against them! What Bush and Jim both mean by the rest of the world becoming accountable and putting aside self interest is that the rest of the world must bow down to American self interest and be accountable to the US government and it's people. I think the rest of the world is fed up of being bullied and pushed around and I can see more and more push back during Bush's term. If they invade Iran and Syria then they will lose any remaining support from their last few allies.
Mark Davies, London, UK