Monday, December 19, 2005

Some brief thoughts on George W. Bush

The lonely libertarian’s support of George W. Bush tends to be misunderstood. In political arguments, friends refer to Bush as “your president,” as if George Bush somehow were my president and not the president of the rest of the United States. To set the record straight, I didn’t actually vote for George Bush in 2004, or in 2000. I’ve reluctantly voted Libertarian in each of the last two presidential elections. I tend to defend Bush because between friends, the media, and academia, I feel as though I exist in an extremely liberal-centric culture. Once in a while it’s necessary to through some sanity into the picture. Jokes about George Bush’s lineage or his intelligence are one thing. (And I enjoy Bush jokes as much as the next guy.) But calling him a Nazi, a fascist and a war criminal is something different entirely. You don’t have to like him or agree with him, but be rational.

Personally, I disagree with Bush on, well, probably everything on the domestic side of the fence. And while I agree with the general thrust of his foreign policy, I do have my concerns about how it’s being conducted. But for the lonely libertarian, arguing policy is a lot different than arguing people.

I do tend to like George W. Bush as a president and leader, as much as one can admire a politician. He conducts himself as president determined to do what he thinks is best. Like I said, I may disagree with his choices, but I tend to disagree with most politicians’ choices. At least with Bush, he plays the role of the leader more so than he does the role of the politician, and I can respect that. He has watched his approval ratings plummet, yet he has stuck by his guns. He continues to stand by his position on Iraq. He maintains a position on immigration that is conspicuously outside the Republican mainstream. And even with issues like social security reform, he pushed and pushed, until it became clear that all his efforts were going to be for naught. He doesn’t play political games, and he doesn’t play the role of a wishy-washy poller.

Once again, I’m not saying you have to like the guy, or even agree with him. But if you want to debate, debate something substantive. I guess that’s why I feel the need to stick up for GW- he takes more uninformed and ridiculous cheap shots then any politician I can ever remember.


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