President George W. Bush goes by many monikers, including George W. Bush, Dubya, "That Idiot in the White House", and others too profane to use in a high school essay. Whatever you perceive Mr. Bush to be, he is doubtlessly the most important person of the year. His brilliantly conducted campaign and his attempts to redefine the Republican Party show that he and his associates are one the most powerful force in US politics. His foreign policy has inspired violence, hatred, and a strong-arm approach to potentially belligerent 3rd world nations.
On the domestic front, Bush has been extremely effective in achieving his political goals. He has redefined the Republican Party into something neither Teddy Roosevelt nor Dwight Eisenhower would recognize. With the Patriot Act and his administration's application of said act came accusations of invasion of personal privacy and violations of the Constitution. Traditional conservatives, up to and including Reagan and Bush's father, have been advocates of limiting government control of people's lives.
The Patriot Act is clearly an example of the oft-used and conservative buzzword for what Democrats supposedly wanted, "Big Government." Also, Bush has integrated Christianity into the Republican Party. Not just Christianity, but Christianity according to the Nicean Creed and a direct, literal interpretation and application of the Bible. This belief set is that of mainly conservative Protestants. This, of course, appeals the mainly protestant Middle America, where most of the Battleground States are. The "Christianizing" of the Republican Party may have been the deciding factor in the 2004 elections. This transformation has made elections in America much less about the economy or complicated foreign policy, and more about issues that are simpler to understand and explain; that is, issues that the Christian Right campaigns against (Abortion, Same-Sex Marriage).
In Eisenhower's day, Republicans believed in extremely...