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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 November, 2004, 11:11 GMT
What do you want President Bush to do now?
President George W Bush
We discussed President Bush's re-election victory in our phone-in programme Talking Point. Our guest was Republican strategist Richard Galen.

President George W Bush is preparing for his second term in office following his victory against John Kerry in Tuesday's election.

Mr Bush has said that he will follow a conservative social and economic agenda with tax reform, social security and education as priorities.

He has also promised to "help the emerging democracies of Afghanistan and Iraq to grow in strength and freedom".

However, the US president has not indicated whether he will sign up to the Kyoto protocol on climate change.

What should be President Bush's main priorities as he enters his second term in the White House? How should he deal with challenges such the Middle East and the environment? What message would you like to send him?

Did you vote for President Bush in the 2004 presidential election?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

Get this country's voting mechanism overhauled
D. Stewart, North Carolina, USA
He should get this country's voting mechanism overhauled. Carteret County here in North Carolina lost approximately 4500 votes on one of the new electronic machines. That is a small amount but when multiplied by the number of electronic voting machines across the country, the impact could be quite astonishing. Amazing that we can spend so much money on a bogus "war" but can't even get our voting equipment up to snuff.
D. Stewart, North Carolina, USA

I am interested but not surprised at the tone and direction of the majority of the respondents to this question. It is apparent that they have not seen the election results and do not see that the majority of Americans support the President. They are as blind as the French and as stubborn as the Germans in their denial of his mandate. I wish for better from our friends in the UK. Four more years!
Wade Daniel, Allen, Texas

It would be nice if he and 52 million other Americans would acknowledge that the rights and lives of the majority of people on this planet do not live in the United States. It would be nice if he stopped ruling with a religious zeal. I would like your readers to know that Americans like myself exist, we are not going anywhere and I hope that the future of this world can handle whatever damage this administration inflicts. This administration is working inside a glass bubble and I truly believe that they have no idea what their policies and choices have done to wreck havoc and world opinion against us.
Don Lunetta, Brooklyn, NY, USA

Clean up the mess in Iraq, get that country back on track and finally withdraw his troops from that place.
Majid, Karachi, Pakistan

I wish he is ready to fulfil his promise that he will protect the democracy of Taiwan "no matter what it takes".
Mike Wang, Taipei

George Bush should pay closer attention to the American economy, welfare reform and health-care.
Pancha Chandra, Brussels, Belgium
George Bush should pay closer attention to the American economy, welfare reform and health-care. The American middle-class, the poor and the down-trodden need urgent help. Let this be the corner-stone policy of his second term: better education, a really resilient economy and affordable health-care.
Pancha Chandra, Belgium

Focusing more on seemingly unimportant issues like the situation in Iraq than apparently important moral issues like encouraging discrimination against certain groups may be a start...
James, Blackpool, UK

It's high time George Bush looked back and try to repair what became a calamity in Iraq. If Bush goes ahead with the same policy, Iraq will be a second Vietnam. This policy has led to chaos in the Middle East peace process, the UN has lost its credibility and Israel is challenging the whole world. Bush has to review his vision and "reboot" his policy.
Lyes, Algeria

Mr. President, bring our soldiers back home now! It is very very painful to watch our soldiers in Iraq. They do not deserve to be there. Whose president are you? Guarantee the safety of your people first before you go on your quest for "spreading democracy".
Karen Kley, USA

He has done a fantastic job so far, and I think the media and the public should recognise all the good he has done
Jonathan, Nottingham

I think that President Bush's priority right now is to continue to defend America and Nato from the threat of terrorism and anarchy. He has done a fantastic job so far, and I think the media and the public should recognise all the good he has done in his previous term, instead of criticising and mocking the gentleman. He is also a family man, an upstanding US citizen, a man of integrity and a God-fearing Christian.

I think that people ought to give him a break. Osama Bin Laden has recently made threats of more terrorist activity in the future; this must be taken seriously to avoid a repeat of 9/11. Bush's priority is to protect his people and his country, against this very serious and real threat. I hope that in his next term Bush will have Osama Bin Laden captured and brought to justice for his evil crimes against humanity. I prayed for Bush to win, because I believe he is the only man who can lead America at this time. My prayer was answered.
Jonathan, Nottingham

I call on Bush to end the favouritism towards Sharon and to bring intense pressure to bear on both sides in the Middle East conflict
Ralph Barbour, Australia

The world will forgive Bush for all of his blunders, gaffes, arrogance, conceit, and hubris if he can pull off the greatest feat of all: a peace settlement between Israel and Palestine. I call on Bush to end the favouritism towards Sharon and to bring intense pressure to bear on both sides in the Middle East conflict. After all, what does Bush have to lose? He'll never have to run for re-election again. The pro-Israel lobby in the US can't touch him anymore. Now is the time to demonstrate real leadership.
Ralph Barbour, American in Australia

President Bush's main priority should stop praising himself and his party in the name of moral values. My understanding of moral values does not mean waging an unnecessary war to a country that posts no threat to the United States. Our tax money has contributed to the deaths of over 100,000 people and we still have guts to talk about moral values!?
Karen, Los Angeles, California

Definitely, the world is no longer a safe place to live in. Bush's victory of the 2004 USA elections means more suffering for the Iraqis, Palestinians, and perhaps North Koreans and the Iranians. This time it might also include Cuba! But our wish is for Bush to consider peace as the only way to make our lives safer to live in this world. The Americans do not want to be hated by the whole world. They are peaceful people and they love everyone. They want to enjoy the greatest economies of all times as they did under Bill Clinton. Bush must consider rebuilding the American economy which he destroyed by concentrating on war rather than peace. He must de-label himself as a symbol of war...!
Kabvuto, Lusaka, Zambia

Keep to your election pledges, which is what the people want.
James, Manchester, England

Keep on doing what you are doing George. The Canadian Dollar and the Euro have never been as high, nor the American dollar as low. Keep this up, and they will have no more competition!
Paul, Toronto, Canada

President Bush should focus on taming the budget deficits
Kevin, Washington DC

For the benefit of the world economy, President Bush should focus on taming the budget deficits and pressure the Chinese to follow fair trade policies with respect to their currency. In Iraq, the President should pressure the European Union to play a greater role in reconstruction and ask them why they have so shamefully neglected their former commitments to Afghanistan.
Kevin, Washington DC, USA

He needs to continue working toward a transformation of the Middle East away from tyranny and toward free democracies. I suspect we will be fighting Islamic militants until the day that Arab women have the right the vote. He should try to motivate the UN to fight against tyranny, but be prepared to pursue it unilaterally if the UN once again shows that it really doesn't do anything.
Les Matthews, Houston, US

What about having a draft among all the gun loving, religious fundamentalist Bush supporters? Will it not be like a dream for them to go to Iraq (and spare the liberals who do not want to be there in the first place)??
Supurna, Chicago, IL

Shouldn't the real question be, "What do you want Karl Rove to do now?"
Sean, Chicago, USA

Andrew, Houston USA

What will the deficit look like after 4 more years of Bush?
Josh, Buffalo, New York, USA
Bill Clinton walked out of office after 8 years leaving behind the nation's largest surplus in history at $230 billion dollars. After 4 years of Bush, our nation has a record deficit of $7,454,945,452,956.14 (as of today). What will the deficit look like after 4 more years of Bush? We will surely see the same with continued tax cuts that are a mockery of the lower and middle classes. In addition, the Washington Post printed an article revealing that the average U.S. household has already spent $1,600.00 on the war in Iraq, and by its estimated conclusion will have spent $3,415.00. For a young man at 24 years of age, that is quite a bit of money I will have contributed to an illegal and unjust war.
Josh, Buffalo, New York, USA

Based on our experience with Bush in last 4 years and what he said in last couple of days, it will be another deadlocked 4 years as far as Social security, Medicare and prescription drug coverage issues are concerned. When he says strengthen the economy, he means few more tax cuts for the rich to further expand the gap between rich and poor in this country.
Chandra, Washington DC, USA

Bush should sign up to the Kyoto protocol
Ameirah, UAE
Bush's priorities should be to restore some sort of peace and stability to Iraq, resume focus on the state of the Mid-East and give some attention to the domestic issues he has discussed. It is true that both Iraq and Afghanistan are better off now politically but are not in a very good state with the amount of bloodshed there and violence. I believe too that Bush should sign up to the Kyoto protocol if he is really as concerned about world issues as he says he is. I wait for Bush to stand to his promises in the campaign.
Ameirah, UAE

I'd like to see Bush live up to his label as a conservative and do something to stop the expansion of government spending and work on reducing the national debt.
Nate, Maine, USA

Learn from his mistakes and dump his self-serving "advisers". I didn't vote for him, but scrape away his ill-advised macho-man facade and he's okay. Just. Very. Badly. Advised.
Ray, Lawrenceville, GA

Look at terrorism from a slightly different angle
Benjamin, Auckland, New Zealand
I would like to see President Bush try and look at terrorism from a slightly different angle. The military might of the United States cannot prevent a dangerous idea forming in the mind of a person who will stop at nothing to pursue their ideological or fundamentalist beliefs. Bush sees terrorism from a black and white, for-us-or-against-us viewpoint. But is it really that simple?
Benjamin, Auckland, New Zealand

Spend a tour of duty in Iraq to see what misery and suffering he has inflicted on the world.
Tom Cunningham, Stirling, Scotland

Read this web-site regularly to get a balanced opinion of what is facing him instead of just what he is advised by his cabal of hawks and so-called 'neo-conservatives'. Then he might just appreciate how people feel about his policies and how they are alienating America from much of the world.
Ian, UK

I would like to see Bush capitalise on the progress Israel has made in withdrawing from Gaza and the end of Arafat's malign use of terrorism to prevent peace in Palestine.
Tom, London

Take any religious references out of the constitution. Do not let personal moral beliefs, based on your own individual religious beliefs, influence your decisions as President. The US state structure should be secular. It serves a diverse people who believe in democracy and the rule of law, no other influence should be involved.
Chris, Aberystwyth, Wales

Bush should first of all reassure the world that he will not attack Iran. He will regain the support of a lot of people who are worried about the imperialistic ideas of the USA.
Luke, Essex

The President should hold fast his work in Iraq and against terror
Jenny, Kochi, Japan - US Citizen

I think the President should hold fast his work in Iraq and against terror. However, he should change his stance on the Kyoto protocol. Not only is this important, but it has gained support around the world. Adopting Kyoto would help mend some international relations.
Jenny, Kochi, Japan - US Citizen

Bush is without doubt a religious fundamentalist and if he succeeds in uniting the American people on issues of faith (the main issue that he claims won him the election) then it will be rather worrying for the rest of the world.
Simon, London

Sign the Kyoto agreement and state as Blair did, that the environment is a huge danger facing the world, release Guantanamo prisoners and hold fair trials, help Iraq find democracy and peace, find Osama Bin Laden and ensure that he gets a fair trial to lead by example. Of course he won't do any of these things, the USA will be hated around the world, paving the way for Hillary Clinton to be the next president. So at least some good will come out of it.
Lee Newham, London

What do I want President Bush to do now? Resign!
Becky, Oxford, UK

Quite simply, Bush should use his final term working to reunite a great nation which has grown increasingly divided in the last few years. This means listening to ALL citizens, as well as allies, and recognizing that not everyone agrees with the right-wing Christian fundamentalist viewpoint. If he can do this, Bush may well redeem his presidency in the eyes of the world, as well as in the history books.
Lucy, London, UK

President Bush's first priorities should be to try and undo all of the damage he has done during the last four years!
Neil, UK

President Bush could you show some courage and prove that you can bring peace to the world.
NI, North Virginia, USA

How about a nice quiet four years.
James , Exeter

Signing up to Kyoto would win him many friends in Europe
Glenn, Luxembourg
How about starting a war on... pollution! Mr Bush's own country is the biggest environmental terrorist on the globe. Signing up to Kyoto would win him many friends in Europe and help the world get to grips with the disastrous consequences of global warming. The Arctic is warming at twice the global rate with potentially dire consequences. Wake up Mr Bush! Help save our planet, please.
Glenn, Luxembourg

What Mr. Bush should do is strengthen our relationship with Russia and withdraw all American troops from bases in Europe. It is obvious, except for maybe the UK, we are not welcomed.
Frank K, Dallas, USA

President Bush should not lose patience while fighting the war against terror. Let this be a slow and steady action against terrorists around the world.
Arif-ur-Rehman, Lahore, Pakistan

I want Mr Bush to go to Iraq and witness first hand the "democracy" he has created.
Bill Brockhurst, Marblehead, MA, USA

I hope he does not abuse our faith
Ace Face, NY, USA
President Bush does have his hands full. He needs to keep the economy moving along and reduce the deficit. He also has to simultaneously deal with Iraq and terrorism. Longer term, he needs to work on reforming social security, education and uniting the country. He clearly disappointed a lot of moderates in his first term, yet we still voted for him. I hope he does not abuse our faith (in him).
Ace Face, NY, USA

Stay away from North Korea. I cannot help feeling that the country is on his hit list for term two. Stay at home George worry about getting your own house in order. If America can put men on the moon why is it so difficult for them to produce presidents, come on, Kerry and Bush????
Andrew Layland, Seoul, South Korea

I can only hope that with this re-election behind him, President Bush will move to the middle. 49% of the voting citizens of this country do not support him, his administration or his agenda. We will not disappear.
Michele Lane, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Democracy on the march? How about restoring some of the democracy he stripped from Americans in the form of the Patriot Act. He would do well to stop force-feeding his concept of liberty and freedom down the throats of foreign countries.
Mark, Florida, USA

America cannot always dictate or demand
Ralph Sylvester Alo, Manila, Philippines
President Bush should continue his fight against terrorism but this time, it should have a concrete exit plan of consolidating democracy and the rule of law after the war. Moreover, he should take into account that war is not the only solution to terrorism. The war itself is spawning more terrorists as radical Muslims find more sympathisers and supporters for their radical ideology. The imperative then is for Bush to give his support to the moderate Muslims around the world, and by "asking" for their help. America cannot always dictate or demand.
Ralph Sylvester Alo, Manila, Philippines

I voted for President Bush because he and his administration are a far better alternative than what the Democrats have to offer. President Bush should and will do what he said he will do in the campaign: fight the global war on terror, reform the social security system, keep government out of the healthcare system, work to balance the budget and keep taxes low.
Fred, Cincinnati, OH

President Bush should use common sense when tackling the current issues dominating internal and foreign problems and stop telling people how to live their lives. He should defend all Americans at home and aboard but let them decide issues like abortion and gay marriage for themselves. He should unite with other democratic countries across the world and restore relations with Europe so terrorism can be fought together. Finally after dividing his country and the world by invading Iraq he should bring everlasting peace to the Middle East by solving the current dogma between Israel and Palestine along with solving the growing problem to the world which is climate change.
James Shortt, Dublin, Republic Of Ireland

Bush should fulfil his broken promise of the last election - to build bridges between the Democratic and Republican parties to find common ground on a whole range of issues facing America.
Martin, Chicago, USA

Fighting terrorism will only be successful if the USA faces up to world issues
Richard Harrison, UK
As president of the country that accounts for less than 2% of the world population, yet 'produces' 27% of the world's pollution and uses 48% of the world's natural resources, Bush needs to develop a more responsible attitude to the global issues. Fighting terrorism will only be successful if the USA faces up to world issues such as global pollution and global poverty. I doubt they will though, because Bush's attitude is of the "I'm alright Jack" variety.
Richard Harrison, UK

How about a bit of co-operation with the UN and the international community? How about listening to the hopes and concerns of other countries, even to opinions other than his own? Trouble is, can he change the habit of a lifetime?
Graham, UK

His main priority is the war on terrorism but I think we will see Bush begin to focus more than he has done in the past on issues closer to home. He is reluctant to sign up to Kyoto but the pressure will be on after Russia recently making a commitment to the pact.
Bob Aggs, Detroit, USA

Let's hope that this time round he pays a little more attention to the Middle East peace process
Raheem, London, UK
Like it or not George is with us for four more years. Let's hope that this time round he pays a little more attention to the Middle East peace process, global environmental issues, mending relationships with continental Europe and a little less time on what consenting adults want to do in the privacy of their own homes. I wouldn't have voted for you myself, but I hope you make the best of the rest of your time in the White House. Good luck to you.
Raheem, London, UK

He should carry on the way he was before. Only another four years of invasion, war, ruined economy and social injustice that will make the American public see the neo-Conservatives for the hatemongers that they are. The suffering of the next four years is the sad but inevitable cost of a decent leader in 2008.
Dominic Tristram, Bath, UK

What should Bush do now? Resign, in the name of peace, hope and decency.
Martin, Reading, UK

He should raise taxes on the rich
Daniel E, London, UK
He should raise taxes on the rich, put a huge injection of cash into Stem Cell Research, scrap the National Missile Defence programme, defend the right to abortion, keep religion out of politics, make an acceptable peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis, build an international coalition through the UN to take over in Iraq utilising mainly Arab troops and construct an American National Health Service free at the point of use. What are the chances of that happening eh!
Daniel E, London, UK

Travel with open eyes and appreciate that diversity is a good thing. Learn that just because something is American doesn't automatically make it good.
Jim, Oxford, UK

The environment should be his main priority. This would show the rest of the world he actually cares about how they feel and would go some way to do the damage done to public opinion of America in recent years.
Fiona, Greenock

Mr Bush should leave his religion out of politics. If he really wants to unite people at home, his government should base its domestic policies on evidence rather than "faith" and not pander to religious extremism. Abroad he should try to appear to be a little more articulate and to appreciate the world more from the perspectives of those who live outside the US.
Peter Vintner, San Vendemiano, Italy

I have a feeling the word 'Iran' is somewhere on his to-do list for 2005-6. I would like to question why America, or any other so-called democratic country has a right to dictate who should and should not build nuclear weapons. I doubt that the Americans sought the 'rest of the world's' approval before building their own nukes.
D M, London, England

Study history in depth and be a world player while getting a grip of what has been and is happening in the Middle East and why....and in the USA take less care of the rich & famous and more of the little "folk" - the poor, and those who are struggling to make ends meet and not, please God, pander to the religious right.
Kate Gibson, Co. Cork, Ireland

Europe has to handle Mr. Bush's actions without loosing its own political agenda
Silvio Marino, Frankfurt, Germany
Mr. Bush should stay out of EU-affairs like the constitution or the debate concerning Turkish membership. Europe has to handle Mr. Bush's actions without loosing its own political agenda. I expect difficult four years.
Silvio Marino, Frankfurt, Germany

I think Bush's main mission is to try and unite the nation. His acceptance speech was a good start, and I am hopeful he will do a good job of it.
Guillermo Power, Soton, UK

Well, I think the first thing he will do is think about which country to attack next. What I want him to do? Let somebody else do the job properly!
Moe, Luxembourg

President Bush should now stop the war and terror and make peace in the world. He should not only pursue al-Qaeda but he must also make peace between Israel and Palestinians and stop the bombardment of innocent people in Falluja and other towns in Iraq by the US forces. He should seek to defeat terror not through war but through peaceful means.
Modou Touray, Bundung, Gambia

Bush should reduce the influence of the neo conservative right in policy making in the second term. It's the only way he can build bridges at home and with the rest of the world.
Glenn Herbert, Matlock

Invade Iran; that's the sort of thing the people who voted him in seem to want.
Kevin, Birmingham

He should stay out of people's personal lives and bedrooms
Michael Trautner, Audubon, NJ, USA
He should stay out of people's personal lives and bedrooms. Stop wasting the nation's time and money enshrining hatred and discrimination. Stop abusing and defaming our wonderful constitution in the interest of his pseudo-religious beliefs.
Michael Trautner, Audubon, NJ, USA

He needs to finish what he started. He cannot reverse world opinion on Iraq but he would look foolish if after another four years we are still fighting insurgency. I feel very depressed about it all.
Maria Kemp, Derbyshire, UK

Unite America and the rest of the world PEACEFULLY. Alternatively he could resign!
Jeff, Worcester

Sort the environment! It's time him and the rest of the USA took some responsibility and lead the way in helping prevent climate change. Sign up for the Kyoto Protocol!
Fraser, Edinburgh

I'm not pleased with the result that Bush was re-elected, especially when he thinks he's a godsend gift to America. Anyway I think he should now keep his promises and improve economy and health-care in the USA. Of course he could also improve the relationship of USA and Europe. He should think about signing up to the Kyoto protocol on climate change.
Marjukka, Espoo, Finland

Mr Bush should bear in mind the rest of the world doesn't work the American way. The US history is relatively short, especially compared with the Middle East. He needs to respect the separate cultures and value systems of each nation - it is their trust and faith he must work to gain.
Dan Benham, London, UK

A majority of Americans want him to continue with the policies of his first four years
David, Columbus, Ohio, USA
Bush has received the most votes of any president in American history. He is the first president since 1988 to win a majority of the popular vote. A majority of Americans want him to continue with the policies of his first four years. Destroying Al-Qaeda, freeing Afghanistan, freeing Iraq, getting Libya to quit its WMD programs, etc. are incredible foreign policy achievements.
David, Columbus, Ohio, USA

I could suggest a few things but he doesn't even listen to the UN so why anyone else? A tiger doesn't change its stripes.
Tom, London, UK

The hawks must be more dove-like now and solve the Palestinian-Israeli question as well as staying the course to pacify Iraq. If his 1st term was about the war, this one should be about the peace.
Jamie, Birmingham, UK

Hopefully, he'll leave the rest of the world alone and try to sort out this own country. If he doesn't, America will be in a far worse state in 4 years time than it is now.
Chris Atkins, Norwich, UK

Bush is without doubt a religious fundamentalist and if he succeeds in uniting the American people on issues of faith (the main issue that he claims won him the election) then it will be rather worrying for the rest of the world.
Simon, London

His first job is to make sure that all Americans are with him.
Suraj Chhetri, Kathmandu, Nepal

God only knows. I think that everyone who voted for Bush and Kerry are holding their breath and praying. Right now, the future appears to be a bit frightening, especially for our youth.
Anon




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