Thursday, October 20, 2005

We make presidents crazy??

“We make presidents crazy.” So says Peggy Noonan in a Opinion Journal article today (10/20/05), titled “How Bush Can Save Bush.” In it she calls for the President to reach inside himself and save his presidency much as he did in 1986 when he overcame his addiction to alcohol. I join her in admiration of Mr. Bush for overcoming such a problem. However, I do not consider Mr. Bush or any other President to be or to have been crazy in the conventional sense of the word. Dumb, senile, incapacitated, ill-informed, paranoid, arrogant, uncaring, or mean-spirited in some combination could apply to most if not all Presidents but not crazy.

She also says, “he's made mistakes,” of judgment and philosophy and that it would not be hard to make a list. The lord knows that’s the truth. But to imply that some ‘we’ had something to do with it is just not right. To say we make anyone anything is to relieve that person of responsibility for his own life, something that both Mr. Bush and Ms Noonan claim to be sacrosanct. It would be an abdication of the core of their philosophy. And certainly not something a patrician like President Bush would find useful in combating Jim Hightower’s infamous declaration that he, Mr. Bush, was born on third base but believed he had hit a triple.

My biggest concern though is her implication that one incident in Mr. Bush’s life is more indicative of his courage and character than the rest of his life’s history. Other than her one example the whole of his life is a tale of being bailed out by some general, government official, millionaire family friend, Saudi prince, corrupt Congressman, or Machiavellian spinmeister. Even a blind pig can find an acorn once in a while.

Ultimately he will be judged not by the silver spoon he was born with, but by his invasions around the world, in which many innocents were killed (even today the papers are reporting numerous children killed in his last ordered bombing)-- he calls the "insurgents." I'm consistently amazed the way "good Christians" support a policy of killing and try to make sense of it with a just war theory. Did they forget one of the majorcommandments or did they just edit?
Maybe we didn't make Bush crazy, but perhaps we (as Christians) have not done our duty to pray for the leaders of our country that they would be led by good motives and character. The Bible tells us to pray for our leaders. Grumbling and complaining about what a bad job he is doing now that he is already in office accomplishes absolutely nothing. He is only a man and he has problems just like any of us; I for one cannot imagine how stressful the job as President of the US must be to handle day-to-day. He must lie in bed most nights wondering whether he has done the right thing...praying that he won't be judged by the people of this nation. In the end, he will be judged by God for the way he has handled this nation. For now, our only job is to pray.
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