In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free,
While God is marching on!


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Worthy of Respect

His administration spent far more money, utterly without regard to revenue, than all the drunken sailors in human history combined. It maintained a cozy relationship with big business and financial interests, and looked the other way while their shortsightedness and greed drove our economy (with the Democrats' help) into the toilet. It staggered for years from one misguided war strategy to another (before finding one that worked), and held onto high-profile advisers long after their advice proved worthless. It did little to stem illegal immigration or to measurably improve educational performance in this country.

For these and other reasons--and to some extent, for no discernible reason at all--George W. Bush attracted more mockery and contempt than perhaps any President in American history. Yet, he stayed remarkably optimistic through it all. Despite the low esteem in which he is held in Western Europe and the Middle East, as well as in this country, he is regarded favorably in much of Eastern Europe, Africa, India, and the Far East. His anti-terror policies have, so far, kept our enemies occupied or reeling, far from our shores. And a recent analysis by the Associated Press--hardly a bastion of Republican-friendly journalism--paints a picture of our soon-to-be-ex-Chief Executive much more appealing than the one reflected by the Mainstream Media over the last eight years. In it, he emerges as good-humored, energetic, inquisitive, incisive, and disciplined; as sentimental, considerate, and religious; and as passionately committed to education, AIDS relief, and, above all, freedom.

It takes a great man to endure the vituperation that President Bush has, without bitterness or retaliation. And it takes a great woman, like Laura Bush, to keep the President on an even keel and strengthen our national leadership with her own limitless grace and generosity (how long will it be before we have another Fist Lady as excellent as she's been?). Perhaps we'll better see the good Mr. Bush has done once the fog of crisis and acrimony has cleared, in future years. Until then, we should lay aside our own bitterness and pray that the America he labored to help, however clumsily, emerges safe, strong, and healthy at last.

UPDATE January 12, 2008: For an excellent, mostly favorable review of President Bush's record, see Fred Barnes, Bush's Achievements: Ten things the president got right (Weekly Standard, 01/19/2009 issue).


Donna said...

I am really glad you posted this dad! It seems as though we live in a society so quick to point out the negative and grim. I personaly never want to be president, so I try to not be critical of one who is willing to take on that huge role. I don't know what is right for everyone, and I am guess that President Bush doesn't either! He has had so much crizticism thrown at him, yet I don't see anyone doing a better job of leading our nation. (well maybe a miss Sarah Palin?) Anyways, I am sorry that I am not as well scripted as you, but I would just like to say Amen to your remarks. Amen.

Thomas Fleming said...

Thank you, Donna, for your comment to my post about President Bush. You're very thoughtful and perceptive! I, too, can't imagine how one person could shoulder responsibility for everyone in this country, and everyone in the free world. One can see how a megalomaniac or tyrant might want to, in order to maximize his power, but not someone who just wants to do what he can to help others for a few years, and then walk away gracefully. I think it's our role, as citizens who couldn't undertake that burden ourselves, to pray for (and keep an eye on) the man or woman who is willing and able to do it, whatever party he or she belongs to--that he or she will use good judgment, be courageous and steadfast, and make wise decisions. If the President can do that, it doesn't matter whether it's George Bush, Barack Obama, or Sarah Palin (YES!) living in that House at the moment.