Friday, November 10, 2006

Why I like George Bush

First of all, let me point out that I don't care about US elections. It matters not a jot to me who controls the Senate or whatever. I don't know much about US politics or their system or their constitution or their parties.

I do know that both of their main political parties are well to the right of anything we have in Britain - although they are both slowly moving to the left. The Democrats are roughly about where the Conservative party were about 10 years ago, while The Republicans are roughly about where the Tories were 50 years ago.

But I don't really care about US politics any more than I care about French, Lithuanian or Albanian politics. My only interest in the US is as a natural and powerful ally to Britain. I don't know how special the "special relationship" is, but I'm certainly aware of the importance of the relationship.

But the truth is, I like George Bush.

It's not so much that I like him for what he is - although there are things about him which I admire - it's more that I like him for what he isn't.

For example, I have a job which, from time to time, requires me to stand up in front of people and give presentations. Now I'm quite good at my job, but I'm crap at presentations. I'm crap because I'm not the most articulate of people. I'm not tall and handsome, I don't have a nice voice, I sometimes speak too quickly, I sometimes get my words mixed up and I frequently forget what I'm saying (more so as I get older).

Does that mean I'm a moron?

Hey, I get paid good money for what I do, I control significant budgets, deal with complex issues and have management responsibility for a considerable number of people. You don't get to this sort of level in your career if you're as thick as two short planks.

Same for the President of the USA. He's not good looking, has a thick accent, is inarticulate, mumbles, gets his words mixed up and often forgets what he is saying. I like that! Does that mean he's stupid?

George Bush logged hundreds of hours flying F102 Delta Dagger aeroplanes. It's fair to say that even the US military do not let you loose in a supersonic jet fighter if you're a dunce. The F102 also had a well known and slightly annoying habit of stalling and rolling on take off. This had a tendency to leave the pilot - dead. You don't get in one of those things if you're a coward either.

The other thing about Bush I like is that he is not a modern politician. He is not media friendly. By that, I don't mean that he's hostile to the media, I mean that he doesn't come across well on TV. In this age of 24/7 news coverage, the accepted belief is that no politician has a chance of getting anywhere unless he is good on TV.

Bush disproves that completely. He can't do soundbites - except those where he makes one of his famous gaffes - he doesn't have the TV smoothness of the Clinton/Blair/Cameron style of politician and he can't turn on that fake sincerity and charm the way they do. So how did he get to be President of the USA in this day and age when elections are won by the politician who comes across as most attractive through the media?

Because he has real political conviction. He truly believes in what he believes in. He's not a bandwagon jumping, opportunity grabbing, popularity seeking, say anything for a vote politician. He's an old fashioned politician of conviction. He really wants to do what he thinks is best for the USA - not for his party, but for his people. He got people voting for him because of the strength of his convictions, not because of his ability to smarm his way through the media.

I find his lack of media ability comforting. It proves that a politician - if he has conviction and belief - can appeal to people even if he isn't the darling of the media. And in a world where the media is deliberately manipulating public opinion to promote it's own agenda, I believe that is important.


xoggoth said...

Afraid I have little respect for conviction or integrity or any of that crap, which after all, none of us really knows for sure about another person.

All we should really judge people on is results and the results for Bush are appalling.

An effective counter to Iran and other extreme states removed, the war on terror greatly set back by giving the fanatics another cause to seize upon, another breeding ground for said fanatics opened up, life for the Iraqis even worse and more killed than under SH, and all for invented reasons that never made one iota of sense in the first place.

xoggoth said...

Can't see a link for that beheading Stan or is my ancient IE playing up again?

Stan said...

The link's there, xoggoth - but here it is again.,20867,20726085-2703,00.html

I disagree that Bush's record is appalling. Leaving aside Iraq - I'm no expert on US politics as I said, but as I understand their economy is in pretty good shape and they've done wonders reversing various social problems - like crime, teenage pregnancies and so on. Where Bush has failed is where he has not moved the conservative agenda forward as he should - particularly on immigration.

xoggoth said...

Agree with last point, left or right, they are all rubbish on immigration. Business rules with all of them and businesses make money out of cheap labour, sod the cost to the nation as a whole.