Thursday, March 6, 2008

Thank You, George Bush

I believe George Bush is a wonderful teacher. What, might one ask, does he teach? President Bush has demonstrated to us, with clarity and certainty, the qualities we must look for in our leader. George Bush, regrettably, does not possess those qualities, but his shortcomings serve as a primer for future generations.

He is an intransigent person. A man of conviction, he will not alter his course or his perceptions no matter the mountain of evidence to the contrary. He has a vision for the destiny of this country and he is unwilling, or unable, to alter or amend that vision when the times demand adjustment.

It is not enough to be strong willed. It is required that one mix stubbornness with intelligence, judgment with clarity.

We are mired in a time in which we as a nation seem to have lost our direction. We are, by all objective standards, failing most, if not all the tests we have faced in recent years. The approval rating of the President is abysmal because he has not had the ability to adjust to the ever changing events that confront him on a daily basis.

Is it lack of experience that has led the President, and our country, into this debacle? If one were to list the most important criteria in making critical decisions, I don't think I would rate experience over intelligence. I don't want a person of average intellect in charge of my future of the future of our country, no matter how long he has been involved in the process.

What I do want is someone who has a facile mind, can understand the nuances and complexities of the most difficult problems;someone who has a strong belief in his or her position, is a person of conviction, but who understands that those convictions are not correct without limitations. I want a person who can and will listen to the sounds of the world and will respond suitably. It is not always enough to be willing to move mountains to get what you want. It is being able to reflect quietly whether what you want is ultimately what we need, and what best serves our interests.

I don't criticize President Bush for being a regular guy. Most of us are regular guys. I don't criticize him for caring deeply about issues of import.I hope all our leaders believe in their positions with such passion. It's just that I don't want a regular guy who can't ever see the forest for the trees put in position to shape history.

I want a president who is ready, intellectually and psychologically, from day one. Our leader can talk to terrorist nations, or not talk to them, shape universal health care in one manner or in another. While these stances are critical, they are not ultimately controlling. Reacting to the moment, as it takes shape, understanding that inflexibility is not always an asset, those are the qualities that the president must possess and exhibit.

I thank George Bush for his service to our country. However, I believe that one of the most important lessons he has taught us comes not from his strengths but from his weaknesses. Let us all hope that the next president doesn't teach us the same lessons.

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