Liberals can learn gallantry from George W. Bush

Vasko Kohlmayer at the American Thinker describes how George W. Bush can remain gallant and affable despite the rudeness and brusqueness shown by his liberal opponents.

A relative few presidents in this country’s history have endured the kind of vicious and spurious attacks that have been leveled against George Bush. Completely abandoning any sense of decorum or statesmanship, some of the highest officials in the Democratic Party have repeatedly called him a liar, a loser, an election-thief, an airhead, and a fraud. Regularly likened to Hitler, there have been books discussing his assassination. Recently he was even dubbed the world’s greatest terrorist by one of America’s once-prominent entertainers . There are just a few of examples. Sadly, such views are increasingly becoming part of the mainstream liberal outlook.

But no matter how malicious they have been, George Bush has always faced his critics with affability and goodwill. Even his most bitter enemies – hating him as they do – would be hard pressed to fault him for being uncivil or personally unpleasant. He displays none of the unkindness, harshness or anger one would normally expect from someone engaged in a political struggle against those who frenziedly seek his destruction.

In fact, Bush’s gallant manner has become something of a trademark. His comportment has served him well, for he has triumphed in almost every great battle he has fought, including two heatedly-fought national elections. His successes tend to drive his opponents into what can only be called spasms of political hysteria, and not knowing what else to do, they crank up even further their already outlandish rhetoric. Their near-madness is indeed a sight to behold.

What this shows is that that when you are on the side of right you do not have to be brusque to prevail. Conducting yourself with grace and dignity can in itself have a devastating effect. Insults and vituperation are altogether unnecessary. Quite to the contrary – geniality and personal warmth further augment the effectiveness of your words and actions.

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4 thoughts on “Liberals can learn gallantry from George W. Bush

  1. Gary,Well, now you know how President Clinton’s supporters felt and still feel about the way he was treated by the right. The vitriol was acidic.I have serious issues with President Bush, but still work hard to maintain equanimity in the face of egregious policy disputes. It’s not easy, but I think it’s important to at least appear to be bipartisan. I don’t always succeed.I’ll grant you that President Bush can show flashes of humor that make me laugh out loud. I was listening to a mid-day press conference recently, and a reporter was asking a question. The President cut him off saying, almost under his breath, “I know you’re going to ask a two-part question, and I was just trying to head it off.” That was funny. I’m sure he’d be a fascinating dinner partner.As much as I enjoy visiting your blog, Gary, there are times when I wonder if this and others like it, left and right, are doing more harm than good. Not in the creation of a place to share ideas. That’s good. The harm may come in the huge schism places like Bear To The Right create. The us vs. them. Sometimes it seems as if anyone who isn’t a conservative is either the enemy or a liberal, with no gray area. There’s little attempt at a “meeting of the minds.” It’s hardly different, I’m sure, on the hard left either. If you’re not a lefty, you’re the enemy or a conservative.Where’s the middle ground? Where’s the vital center? The bedrock place from which America is supposed to be governed? I’m afraid it had been beaten to a pulp by both the left and the right.The left hates President Bush just as vehemently as the right hated President Clinton. Nothing will change that.I keep visiting your blog to try to keep you honest, not that I know all that much or have many answers. I admire what you do because you have conviction. That’s a good thing.Howard


  2. It is not clear to me how Howard is keeping you honest with this post.The “American Center” liked Bill because he was friendly, and did not show his “angry” side in public. Bush happens to be genuinely friendly. (also, he told people what they wanted to hear)I believe that the reason that people in the “center” feel like there can be no agreement in these political arguments is that each side has a different view of reality. To really believe (as my mother, and grandmother do) that “Bush is a liar” or “Republicans do not care if people starve” is to live in another world. How can you argue the result of an action if you can not even agree on what currently exists?


  3. BurtB,You’d have to have read a few more of my posts on BTTR to understand what I meant when I said that I try to keep Gary honest. I’d guess that Gary thinks I fail miserably.You bring up a valid point when you say that one’s POV anchors you in your notion of reality. That’s why it’s so disconcerting to me that reality is a moving target, and seems to depend on ideology rather than facts.The fact that you can’t even understand your mother and grandmother’s POV (you don’t have to accept it, just try to understand it) tells me you’re part of the problem. It’s very easy to understand (empathize with) those who see the President as a liar, just as Republicans were adamant about Bill Clinton’s dance with the truth.“Walk in another man’s shoes” takes a special kind of ability, and in my opinion, ideologues will never have it. And this world is filled with too many ideologues.Howard


  4. Howard,Burt has a point in that it is difficult to dialogue with someone who sees reality differently than you do. When I talk with someone who says that Bush went to war in Iraq to 1) get revenge for the assassination attempt against his father, 2) to protect the oil interests and 3) to create revenue for Halliburton, there is very little basis for having a rational discussion. It is hard for me to “empathize” with that position when the proponent does not care what the facts are.When someone says that “Bush Lied” because he said Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, they don’t want to hear that everyone (Democrats and Republicans) believed that to be the case, and that if Bush believed it, he didn’t lie. They also don’t want to hear that the WMD issue was not ever the principal reason for going into Iraq, but his refusal to comply with several U.N. resolutions. They have their own beliefs about things, and don’t want those beliefs challenged. It causes too much discomfort to give up cherished beliefs.I abhor the vitriolic rhetoric and the divided partisanship that exists in America today. I am old enough to remember when whether you were a Republican or a Democrat, you behaved with civility toward the other party, because, in the end, we all wanted what is best for America and we were all Americans. I have some doubt whether that last statement is true today. I think many politicians put partisan politics above what is best for America.I have to say that the Democratic Party today has no similarity to the Democratic Party of FDR, Truman or Kennedy. It has more in common with the Socialist or Communist Party of 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s. The Democratic Party has moved so far to the left, that there is a big gap between where the Democrats are and where the Republicans are, with no one filling in that gap.I would love the ability to dialogue with Democrats. I would like to be able to assert why I think conservative principles have benefit for the future of this country, but there are very few Democrats that I can have rational discussions with. Fortunately, you are one that I can.


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