It isn’t my normal habit to blog about politics, but today is inauguration day, and the beginning of the term of our 44th president.
Being an amateur historian (aren’t we all?) I like to take these moments to look back at what has been.
Ann Althouse put up a post wherein people could say good-bye to our 43rd president.
Aside from the idiots and cranks who have nothing better to say than “Buck Fush” or “good riddance” there are some intelligent and useful comments in that thread. Althouse does a fantastic job about keeping most of the loonies away, btw.
The one subject I would like to address is the one of dignity.
Commenter Helen Parr:
I remember his 2000 campaign promise to restore dignity and honor to the office of President. I believe he succeeded.
He is a good man. He is genuinely compassionate. He is a role model for fitness and sobriety. If everyone I know possessed his character, I would be grateful.
But he never should have been President of the United States of America. He has valued loyalty over authority in a way that has done us harm.
I hope he enjoys his life. Having worked so tirelessly for us, he deserves to.
And, oh yeah,
“A man of honor, something we haven’t seen of late on the other side of the aisle.” (referring to an earlier comment that stated this – Dan)
he would never say that.
The man goes out with his head held high, and secure with the knowledge that – despite everything that was thrown at him – he never lost his dignity. I don’t know what he plans to do with his time now, but I will make one daring prediction: he will not be jetting around the world fund raising from dictators and third world corporate oligarchs; nor will he be traveling to woe-begotten tyrranies to declare their latest sham elections to be “basically fair,” nor will he grow wealthy traveling the world by private jet giving speeches about the imminent melting of the icecaps.
And, just as liberals look back at their hounding of the progressive Lyndon Johnson with regret, we will regret that we did not recognize that this was a president who was the the liberator of Iraq and Afghanistan, the strongest pro-life voice to occupy the office, the strongest friend of Israel, the finest annointer of judges and justices, a crusader for AIDS relief in Africa, and above all The Decider.
And no matter what, I think we will miss him more than we know.
I tend to side with these types of comments about Bush. There is so much we will not know for many, many years about this man and the situations he was in. I am not necessarily a huge Bush fan. I am intensely grateful that Bush remained sober, in shape and dignified. He rose above the withering barrage of fools, cranks and idiots that constantly and consistently bashed this man, calling him horrific things like Hitler, Chimp and the like. I swear I have never seen anything like it (granted, I am only 40 but it truly was repulsive).
Not one time did I ever see him lower himself, get mad, or lose his cool. That is something that I could never do. If someone called me Hitler, I would probably promptly smash that person across the face with my best Muay Thai elbow, probably a Sok Ti or Sok Ngad. And it would be a two hit fight, I guarantee you – me hitting that person, and them hitting the ground.
Everyone can, and will, argue about Bush’s policies as much as they want, but they can never take away the fact that he truly stayed dignified and represented the office well.
For that, and much more, I say thank you to President Bush, and Godspeed.