An old friend of mine sent me an e-mail yesterday containing a parodic version of President George W. Bush's resume. Inevitably, it is a giant laundry list of his crimes and misdemeanors, ranging from the charges of drunkenness and secretiveness to his theft of the Presidency, his single-handed destruction of the American economy, and his warmongering. My friend, of course, believes it's all true, but that's what the multilateralist-cosmopolitan-post-nationalist set is reduced to: taking solace in their distorted view of a morally unambiguous man. It's fun to deride the simplistic cowboy, as though the purposes of civic inquiry could ever be satisfied with a neutrality of judgement or vision. My contemporaries laugh at Bush because they fear his moral clarity, but I am unconcerned with their opinions because I know that there are many more Americans who welcome it.
Who was it who taught my generation to look down on the strength of judgement? It's uncool to believe in black and white or right and wrong. The way to get along is to see things relativistically and to not hold one thing above another for fear of offense. Well, the culprit is obvious, but I'm not going to waste my time on him right now; instead, let us briefly examine a few of the usual charges against Bush.
Is Bush a drunk? Yep. Always will be. But at least he's a recovering drunk. As a man who is also fighting addiction, I am proud to say that the leader of my country is a former addict who has found success in action. He isn't saddled with the burdens of drink anymore; rather, he is charged with overcoming the impulse to use that poison. Sniveling craphounds like Maureen Dowd may congratulate themselves on finding the next and best criticism or barb with which to wound him, but George W. Bush's character is like what is best in America: it is resilient.
Is Bush secretive? I think that's probably true. He learned that Administrations that conduct their interior dialogues on the front pages every day and the evening news that night are going to wind up fighting a lot of rear-guard actions that will only sap the strength out of their cabinet and staffs. It's hard to understand why anyone in the business world who appreciates the value of guarding proprietary knowledge would actually find Bush's secretiveness indefensible. Do the Freedom of Information Act activists believe that he or his Administration have done something wrong? Do they harbor fantasies of exposing cabals of oilmen with Dick Cheney dressed in a mask and a bishop's blood-red vestments? In the end, they may be right. But it is crucial to remember that there is one area of public life in which you cannot discriminate ---and that is in what you choose not to hide. It is time to grow up, my Democratic friends, and admit that the exercise of executive privilege is not unique to either party.
Okay, then, did Bush steal the Presidency in 2000? No, and it's a lot of goddamned seditious lies to say he did. You will find in the full range of the Democratic Party ---from the uninformed sluggards that constitute its voting base to vicious pricks like Terry McAuliffe and Tom Daschle--- a singular willingness to make the accusation of theft wherever possible. It's like their rum-soaked nipple that they can always grab at for replenishment when it's time to discredit the President. Too bad for them that it's all a lie. Sure, the President's brother is the governor of Florida. So what? Show how that affected anything. Did the Bush family somehow cause several Democratically-controlled counties to adopt the use of punch-card balloting years before the election in anticipation of a close race? Is it really true that Florida state police intimidated blacks into not voting? And what, by the way, is an undervote? Can some one explain that to me? Do you mean to say that you can divine the intention of a voter from a ballot where no choice was indicated for President? How about an overvote, in which more than one chad gets punched? Was Al Gore entitled to a certain percentage more than Bush? I mean, what the fuck?! Why can't people accept the fact that the 2000 Presidential race in Florida was an accident of numbers? I'm sure it whets the paranoiac appetite to know that the Bushes "control" Florida, but sometimes, amazing coincidences occur. Did you know that Jefferson and John Adams died on the same day? ("Okay, that's interesting: the second and third Presidents died on the same day.") Right, but did you know that they died in 1826 ---exactly a half-century after American Independence was declared? ("A half-century? You mean exactly?") Yes, they both died on the Fourth of July. ("Huh! That sounds like a Hollywood ending.") But it's true. So, what are we going to do about that? We either have to believe it happened that way (because we know the facts of their deaths) or we have to carry on like Democrats who smell intrigue behind every corner. It's boring: get over it.
Well, maybe Bush has brought down the American economy. Maybe the 2002 tax cuts that he pushed for were what actually threw this multi-trillion dollar economy into a recession. I mean, don't you feel guilty about that $300 rebate check you got?
Sure. All economies grow in a linear fashion and ours has always done so in an upward trajectory of growth and prosperity for all of God's creatures. Regulated markets never go through periods of stock over-valuation leading to crashes or losses in consumer confidence and buying due to national disasters or other manifestations of chaos theory at work in the rates of interest, inflation, employment, or fuel prices.
Oh, and is the President a warmonger? I don't believe that. I think he is doing an excellent job as our Commander-in-Chief. He appears to have the full confidence of our military and our military should have the fullest confidence of the American people. They are all fighting against Islamofascism and, in that, they have my endorsement. I'm proud that the President of the United States is from my home state of Texas and have no doubts that he will be re-elected in 2004.
But, you know, I didn't really explain why Bush will win again. Here's the reason, though: I didn't vote for him in 2000. I didn't think he was qualified. I found his demeanor obnoxious and disturbing. But if the election were tomorrow, I'd be the first in line to give him my vote. I'm sure a lot of people feel that way: he changed my opinion of him through his good work. And that's why he's going to win again.