I have met probably dozens of Americans over the last couple of years or so, and out of all of them I only remember about 2 of them admitting that they voted for Bush. This got me thinking, just how did Bush become president of the US in the first place and how was he able to remain for 2 terms.
Thinking back over the last few years, I simply can’t recall reading a news story that was praising George W. Bush for anything. I certainly can’t recall a conversation with anyone – American or not – where Bush was mentioned with respect and admiration. Surely those are how a leader should be perceived by his people and possibly even by the international community. Admittedly I am not American, so maybe I am missing some pieces of the puzzle, or something is lost in translation I don’t know, but I find the situation extremely curious.
One of the things that really gets to me is “bushisms”. Were they ever endearing? Since when were bad grammar and an inability to construct a meaningful sentence, the hallmarks of a visionary leader of men. I am just not prepared to make peace with the fact that in a country that gave us the auto-mobile, the atomic bomb, the internet even, that was the best leadership material they had. The saddest thing is that these “bushisms” occurred despite the speech writers and others of their ilk that were no doubt employed to keep just such things from occurring. These grammatical faux pas never made me like Bush more, but they surely must have done so for some people, or am I wrong?
What about his handling of the Iraq war. Let us not forget the fact that the “weapons of mass destruction” over which the war was started in the first place were never found. Let us also not forget that in the case of Iraq, democracy was foisted on the people living there (compelling a nation to adopt democracy through force of arms – was there ever a more ludicrous concept). Both of those things piss me off just a little, but what gets to me even more is the insistence that no-one put a foot wrong at any point with regards to the whole situation. Frankly I would have respected the current US administration a lot more had Bush come out at some point and said “Gee guys, we were wrong, but have to try and set things right now, doing the best we can”. And I am perfectly aware that I can’t blame Bush for the actions of the whole administration, he is not the only person involved. He is however the leader and as such has a responsibility – and a level accountability as well – whether things go right or not.
Bush is in no small part responsible for America having a frankly atrocious international reputation right this minute. America is seen as a bully and an aggressor by the rest of the world, despite many countries having to tow the line and follow Americas lead due to economic (and possibly other) pressures. This in turn reflects really badly on the American people. If I were American I certainly would not want to be judged by the action of one short-sighted and limited individual (who just happens to be the president :)) and the fact that I am being judged this way would annoy me no end.
Is all of this because Bush is just not a leader, but is in fact a sort of puppet for some group/s within the Republican Party? I mean, lets take the current Russia vs. Georgia conflict. Surely noone could lay hypocrisy on that thick without visibly cringing unless they are being controlled in some way and simply don’t have the capacity to understand what they are saying or doing. If it is the case then surely this is even more reason why Bush deserves our contempt for being bamboozled in this way by his “advisors”.
Given all that I said above I guess my question is, who actually voted for Bush and why? Even more so, why the second time? If you did vote for him, do you still retain some confidence in his abilities as a leader? Do you think he has done a good job in his 2 terms as president? I would be very curious to know what people have to say and if you’re not American I’d love to hear from anyone who admires Bush, or at least doesn’t dislike him, surely there must be someone.