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As Long as We Remember...

January 26, 2009

Who is President Bush, the Man?

Bill Brosius

Who Is this George W, Bush, 43rd President of the United States? On the left hand he is characterized as being stupid, dumb, arrogant, lying, stubborn, a Texas cowboy who swaggered around the White House spouting religious nonsense.


On the other hand, the reality is that he was a breath of fresh air, substituting dignity and respect, in behavior and dress, into the White House after eight years of uncouth behavior by the Clinton contingent. He was always a gentleman, a man true to his wife and family.


What some called stubborn, others see as principled, refusing to give up his ideology for the sake of popularity of the moment; for the sake of political expediency. What he believed in, he stuck with, through thick and thin. One might recall Presidents Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, both of whom faced opposition and stuck to their beliefs thorough the muck and mire of the moment while forming and preserving our nation. We now, in hindsight, thank and revere them.


Someone recently, with fervor and in anger, called the president “that stupid Bush who got us into that stupid war.” Such high voltage anger defies all reason and is devoid of logic arising from consideration of the facts.


George W. Bush was smart enough at Yale to have a four-year grade point average higher than his first presidential opponent (what’s his name – the already forgotten has-been?), who was also a Yaley.


What’s-his–name slugged through college, barely making average grades. George was having a rip-roaring, hard drinking, good time while also barely making a bit higher GPA. George went on to graduate from Harvard Business School, no mean accomplishment for anyone, and then, serving six years as a jet fighter pilot in the Air Force Reserve, he went into the oil business.


Unsuccessful in his first business venture, he sold it and, with other investors, bought a defunct baseball club, reorganized it, and after five years of rising successes, sold it for $16,000,000. We should all be so dumb.


Some people associate knowledge with arrogance. The president, any president, by virtue of his position and briefings has more access to information than most of us; perhaps than any of us. Thus by virtue of his superior exposure to situational facts, may seem arrogant because of his greater knowledge. The question always is, does he use his superior information to good effect in running the country, or does he compromise his principles?


“Bush lied” has become fairy-tale lore among the president’s detractors. When pressed, no one has yet quoted any lie that President Bush has uttered. One must define terms, and have the same meaning of words to have any rational discussion. The definition of “to lie” is to utter “an intentionally false statement.” I have never known President Bush to give an intentionally false statement, and no one has ever, verbally or in print, been able to point one out to me.


Some call ‘stubborn’ what should better be called ‘determined.’ Once President Bush made up his mind, based on the facts he had available, he most determinedly sticks with his convictions. He refuses to change for the sake of political expediency or popularity.


Perhaps what is intended to be a slur, “Texas Cowboy,” especially when uttered by the California and northeast intelligentsia, and half-informed Europeans, is to a Texan and to most Americans, a compliment.


George W. obviously considers it as such. Many of us admired John Wayne characters – straight–forward, straight shooting, direct, honest ’til-it-hurts, truthful, tough, and champion of justice in its most fundamental forms. President Bush is proud to be called a Texas Cowboy. And as to his swaggering, he has said: “in Texas, we call that walking.”


President Bush admits to being a born-again Christian and is proud of being so. He unashamedly quotes scripture and lives by Christian principles and morals in pursuing his everyday life and in running the country. Would we rather have someone who lives by Christian principles and morals, or someone who flouts them for the sake of expediency?


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