April 19th, 2003
I must confess, from the beginning I was not impressed at all by President G.W. Bush. His administration started very much like “an elephant in a China cabinet“, examples, the handling of the sunshine Korean policy, China, Kyoto etc. etc.
I state this with all due respect for the high office he is holding of this great democratic nation. Perhaps I like many have underestyimate him and history will no doubt compare him with other Presidents but I doubt it will be positive.
The core of my problem is that he has always given me the impression that he was intellectually completely unprepared for the Presidency, like most are. He substitutes platitudes and slogans for thought and analysis, having little capacity or interest in these mental processes, one could conclude he has contempt for them.
One of the things what disturbs me about him is indeed his faith based rhetoric. This born again Christian, which gives him certitude about what, is right, about rightness.
His Dad is much different and respected worldwide, he also who has failed to endorse his son’s policy on Iraq. The elder Mr. Bush is a “multilaterist in his bones”, with lifelong experience of diplomacy starting in the corridors of the UN.
Junior, although intelligent, has clearly not the intellectual baggage and understanding his father has, an internationalist, without father’s name and daddy’s fiends what would have been the result.
But he is clearly a man of moral certainty but with less worldly wisdom, thinking after 9/11 “This is what I was put on earth for”. However he is manipulated … in a way his father was never was. It is easier to be certain when you know less about things.
When I looked at G.W. his ultimatum speech to Saddam Hussein, he made me think back at Wyatt Earp in “Gunfight at OK corral”. A small town sheriff telling someone to get out of his town, but the world is not his town and neither is Iraq, and that is one of the problems I have with him.
However, I am sure that G.W. Bush is a nice but limited guy to go to the ball game with, have a few laughs, I am also sure that he is an excellent husband and father to his children but for the office he is holding he simple lacks the intellectual capacities, the intellectual curiosity.
In Bush one recognizes the religious fervour and moral conviction that West Texas possess, one can acknowledge the dark side of this fervour and conviction. Being raised with the moral certitude that you are doing God’s will breeds an inability to appreciate divergent viewpoint and, as he so clearly shows, contempt for those views that become obstacles to completing your work.
Whether the views of the French Government, Iraq, or Europe, in general or American views that believe in the virtues of multilateral action, Bush Midland upbringing has prepared him to hear only one voice, his own.
William J J Houtzager