Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Thoughts on President Bush

In the April 26th TIA Daily Robert Tracinski made the point that:
"If domestic policy were the main issue of the day, I don't expect that I could bring myself to say much that is positive about President Bush."

This got me to thinking. I can't say much positive about him either. With the exception of trying to make legal immigration easier, I can't think of anything else I would support. I would have supported his privatization of Social Security if he would have been honest with the American people and told them of the need to eventually replace it with a completely private program.

But no, he tried to pass it off as SS "reform." He would have been much better off if he had sat down one night and told the people the plain truth. But instead of being logical, he chose to be altruistic and it cost him the initiative.

I don't know why he made the biggest Medicare expansion since 1965 with his drug benefit. This has destroyed the Republican reputation for championing small government. It's like Bush is saying "We have to make government bigger in order to make it smaller." You're simply not going to enlist very many followers with a strategy like that. He just needs to tell the people the truth.

To quote Ayn Rand in her essay "Conservatism: An Obituary":

"What is the rationality of those who expect to trick people into freedom, cheat them into justice, fool them into progress, con them into preserving their rights, and, while indoctrinating them with statism, put one over on them and let them wake up in a perfect capitalist society some morning?"

This is the impression I get when I hear Bush advocate his initiatives and defend his policies. In shaking up his White House staff, maybe he'll get rid of some of the bad advice givers on his staff but I doubt it. Presidents tend to fill their staff with people of like mind.

Bush has to realize that he is being attacked mainly because he is allowing the attacks to stand. He has to understand that although it is necessary to defend himself when attacked, it is wrong to adopt a purely defensive position. When one is attacked by irrational ideas, the best defense is to attack those ideas and expose them for the falsehoods they are. This is where Bush is sorely lacking. He treats all criticism as if it were nothing more than a difference of opinion and not as an attack or threat to his ideas and to America.

Of course some of Bush's problems are not external but are in his own head. I would like to know if his idiotic statement "addicted to oil" was his own idea or that of his advisors with whom he reluctantly agreed. I'll never know I suppose but being an oil man, Bush has to know that he was disparaging his own industry. Why would he do that? Does he really believe the oil industry is evil? Or was he trying to appeal to the craven anti-capitalist, anti-business mentality that dominates the media, academia and large chunks of the population? This is what I mean by Bush's inability to attack bad ideas. It's like he has decided to roll with the punches instead of throwing some himself.

Sometimes I wish the Dems would succeed in impeaching Bush. Why? Because that would put Cheney in charge and I'm beginning to like that idea.

All Mr. Bush has to do is show some serious spine. If he were to attack Iran tonight, tomorrow he could make a simple announcement: "I have ordered our military to destroy Iran's nuclear ability and its military installations. No particular reason for the timing except that the sooner one removes a cancer the sooner one returns to health. I gave the order because I said once before that I would not stand idly by while dangers gather. I meant it." End of announcememt.

I could be wrong but I think if anything even close to this were to happen Bush's ratings would climb significantly. Does he have it in him? We'll see.


(For more info on The Intellectual Activist go here.)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"In the April 26th TIA Daily Robert Tracinski made the point that:
"If domestic policy were the main issue of the day, I don't expect that I could bring myself to say much that is positive about President Bush.""

I agree entirely with your post. However, I disagree with Tracinski. He seems to think that there is something positive to say about Bush's foreign policy. IMO, there really isn't. Its just as self-sacrificial as his domestic policy. Possibly even more so. I used to like Tracinski's commentary but not so much anymore. I consider him the weakest of the Objectivist social commentators.

D. Eastbrook

Mike N said...

I've not thought in terms of comparing RT to other Objectivist writers. You may have something there. I'll be watching in the future.