Sunday, December 21, 2008

Not-So-Surprising Facts about Bush

As President George W. Bush's eight years of service come to a close, I have been thinking about what his service means to our country. Polls have not been kind to this man. Hopefully, history will be more so.

I know the press and all that they have to say about the President. I read an article that appalled me with its disrespect for both the man and the office. There is no more shame in our society, no more decorum, no more manners. I'm not ashamed to admit that I voted for Bush, rooted for him to overcome Gore in 2000, was pleased when we didn't have to fight for our vote to be counted in '04. I'm relieved that there are no attempts on his life known to the public while he was in office. May God spare him as he lives out the rest of his days.

I can't help but believe that if a President wanted to be popular instead of right he could work the system and gain some popularity. There is incredible power in that office, and popularity and polls are easily garnered, if one so desires. There is something to be said, however, about a man who can continue to do a job when the whole world (literally) is not just against him, but is maligning his character, mocking him, throwing shoes at his head...

In the last month of his term, we learn this about President Bush and Vice-President Cheney. Bush committed troops to an unpopular war, intended to protect us from terrorists. As someone who witnessed 9-11 from the window of my house, I'm inclined to support his choice. We know a lot about the war, about how difficult and unpopular decisions were made, about the toll it's taken on our country, but what we did not know was that the President and Vice-President, in old-fashioned gentlemanly fashion, were taking responsibility for their decisions in a very personal way.
For much of the past seven years, President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have waged a clandestine operation inside the White House. It has involved thousands of military personnel, private presidential letters and meetings that were kept off their public calendars or sometimes left the news media in the dark.

Their mission: to comfort the families of soldiers who died fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and to lift the spirits of those wounded in the service of their country...

Mr. Bush, for instance, has sent personal letters to the families of every one of the more than 4,000 troops who have died in the two wars, an enormous personal effort that consumed hours of his time and escaped public notice. The task, along with meeting family members of troops killed in action, has been so wrenching - balancing the anger, grief and pride of families coping with the loss symbolized by a flag-draped coffin - that the president often leaned on his wife, Laura, for emotional support.

"I lean on the Almighty and Laura," Mr. Bush said in the interview. "She has been very reassuring, very calming."

Mr. Bush also has met privately with more than 500 families of troops killed in action and with more than 950 wounded veterans, according to White House spokesman Carlton Carroll. Many of those meetings were outside the presence of the news media at the White House or at private sessions during official travel stops, officials said.


As I said before, in the office of President of the United States, it can't be that hard to gain popularity. But when a man does his job outside the scope of the public's notice and goes beyond the call of duty, this is someone who cares more about what is right than about being popular. I hope history rethinks the polls--I don't regret my votes.

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