What it will take to
'Usher in the Responsibility Era'?

As I have said throughout this campaign, I want to usher in the "responsibility era". But it's not enough for a candidate just to talk the talk, the question is are you willing to walk the walk--and I am. I've said over and over that "I don't want to give kids the idea that what Governor Bush did 30 years ago is cool to try."* But here I am, a former drug user about to become president! What kind of message does that send? I have to show kids that there are consequences for committing crimes--even for the rich and powerful.

The network mini-series, "The Trial of GWBush"

Learn more about 'Operation Usher in Responsibility'

Bush's own emotional comments on the eve of his sentencing

That's why I'm going to jail.

Every one knows that I did a lot of drugs--pot, cocaine, and other stuff--when I was young. While hundreds of thousands of people have gone to jail for simple drug possession and even less, I got off scot-free. That may have made sense in the old "irresponsibility era". But I'm ushering in the "responsibility era," and now everyone will pay for their crimes.

Drugs are destroying our youth. Anyone who does drugs must be punished. In the "irresponsibility era" (which I am bringing to a close) we punish people irrationally: drug king pins get off with parole while recreational users often get 10 or 20 years. Even innocent people are going to jail for the sake of our war on drugs.

We need to punish people according to the severity of their crime, not the whim of a prosecutor. I would be a hypocrite if I ushered in the 'responsibility era' without taking responsibility for my own crimes. And George W Bush is no hypocrite.

That's why I'm going to jail for the rest of the campaign--approximately one year. I'd say that's a fair sentence for my crimes--which, as I've said before, I committed over a ten year period from age 22 to 32. I realize that confining myself to a federal prison cell will impede my ability to campaign. But I think the American people will respect my decision and reward my honesty and integrity at the ballot box. While my sentence will no doubt be much greater than one year, I plan to pardon myself when I become president, along with hundreds of thousands of others as part of Amnesty 2000.

I challenge my opponent Al Gore, an admitted smoker of marijuana cigarettes, to join me in prison. I doubt he will, and doesn't that say something about what he stands for?

*FROM THE HORSES MOUTH:

"I'm not going to talk about what I did as a child. What I am going to talk about -- and I am going to say this consistently -- [is that] it is irrelevant what I did 20 to 30 years ago. What's relevant is that I have learned from any mistakes I made. I do not want to send signals to anybody that what Gov. Bush did 30 years ago is cool to try." --Gov. Bush in an interview with WMUR-TV in New Hampshire, when asked if he had used "drugs, marijuana, cocaine" (See news story.)

"I am committed to helping to usher in the responsibility era, an era in which all individuals in this great land understand they are responsible for their actions and the decisions they make." --Bush campaign literature.

“If we are going to save a generation of young people, our children must know they will face bad consequences for criminal behavior. Sadly, too many youths are not getting that message. Our juvenile justice system must say to our children: We love you, but we are going to hold you accountable for your actions.”--Bush campaign literature.