Thursday, April 20, 2006

Our President

This is our president.

Worst President in History?

From the article:

"Historians do tend, as a group, to be far more liberal than the citizenry as a whole -- a fact the president's admirers have seized on to dismiss the poll results as transparently biased. One pro-Bush historian said the survey revealed more about "the current crop of history professors" than about Bush or about Bush's eventual standing. But if historians were simply motivated by a strong collective liberal bias, they might be expected to call Bush the worst president since his father, or Ronald Reagan, or Nixon. Instead, more than half of those polled -- and nearly three-fourths of those who gave Bush a negative rating -- reached back before Nixon to find a president they considered as miserable as Bush. The presidents most commonly linked with Bush included Hoover, Andrew Johnson and Buchanan. Twelve percent of the historians polled -- nearly as many as those who rated Bush a success -- flatly called Bush the worst president in American history. And these figures were gathered before the debacles over Hurricane Katrina, Bush's role in the Valerie Plame leak affair and the deterioration of the situation in Iraq. Were the historians polled today, that figure would certainly be higher."

"Even worse for the president, the general public, having once given Bush the highest approval ratings ever recorded, now appears to be coming around to the dismal view held by most historians. To be sure, the president retains a considerable base of supporters who believe in and adore him, and who reject all criticism with a mixture of disbelief and fierce contempt -- about one-third of the electorate. (When the columnist Richard Reeves publicized the historians' poll last year and suggested it might have merit, he drew thousands of abusive replies that called him an idiot and that praised Bush as, in one writer's words, "a Christian who actually acts on his deeply held beliefs.") Yet the ranks of the true believers have thinned dramatically. A majority of voters in forty-three states now disapprove of Bush's handling of his job. Since the commencement of reliable polling in the 1940s, only one twice-elected president has seen his ratings fall as low as Bush's in his second term: Richard Nixon, during the months preceding his resignation in 1974. No two-term president since polling began has fallen from such a height of popularity as Bush's (in the neighborhood of ninety percent, during the patriotic upswell following the 2001 attacks) to such a low (now in the midthirties). No president, including Harry Truman (whose ratings sometimes dipped below Nixonian levels), has experienced such a virtually unrelieved decline as Bush has since his high point. Apart from sharp but temporary upticks that followed the commencement of the Iraq war and the capture of Saddam Hussein, and a recovery during the weeks just before and after his re-election, the Bush trend has been a profile in fairly steady disillusionment."

The article is interesting, and the approach is far less biased as one might imagine.

In keeping with that theme, and through some serious self-analysis, a new challenge has developed for me personally.
The current state of affairs in the United States under the Bush regime has deteriorated immensely and I have been thoroughly affected by it.
I cannot go about day to day all cheerful and motivated knowing that our once great nation is being rammed into the reef by a cabal of reckless pirates with delusional goals.
My behavior has become less than friendly, I am irritated all the time, have trouble sleeping at night and have taken a less than open view of some of the people around me.

In short, my tolerance, patience, civility and humility are gone.

The challenge is to accept what has happened, what is happening, know that the next presidential election will be as ugly as ever and that the United States will be in the quagmire known as Iraq for many years to come even though we should get the hell out of there now.

There is no solace in the fact that many people knew Bush spelled trouble for the United States back in 2000 and knew that Iraq was a bad idea that was going to blossom into an even bigger and badder idea. When Bush was reelected I was flabbergasted. Somehow the option "lessor of two evils" that I hear from many then-Bush supporters moved them to vote for Bush and not Kerry. This is a red herring argument. Conservatives always vote Republican - regardless.
That "two evils" argument is personal justification for a vote that they now regret - but I am willing to bet my life that the majority of Bush voters will vote Republican again in 2008.

This is not how I wanted to spend these years of my life.
But here we are. All of us.
Those that believe in this President, those that saw him for what he is, those that support this president through their own selfish goals, those that dislike him as intensely as the those that dislike the Clintons, as well as those that stand on the sidelines and watch all of this unfold.

We are living in a historical time, as is any time - at any time.
These are not historical good times though, these are historical terrible times.
We are going to have to face the music for a long time to come. The next president, be him/her either Democrat or Republican has little or no chance of correcting the current administration's mess. And that is what it is: a mess.

The personal challenge for me is to regain my patience, tolerance, civility and humility. I was a far more effective person when I was cheerful and social and I need to get those back.
Part of that process is continuing with my personal goals of education and putting that education to work for our society as a whole - even those people that are ripping our society apart.
It is an American ideal to be inclusive and tolerant.
I cannot let the current administration and it's completely un-American imperialistic and xenophobic policies corrupt me or my society.

Bush and his cabal have done much damage in a very short time.

I have another 30 productive years in front of me, and if I can keep my health, maybe another 40 or so years.

There is a lot of good and a lot of seeds that can be sewn in that time. This has always been my goal but the current state of affairs in our nation certainly has given added meaning and focus to those ideals.

No, alone one cannot save the world, but together and with others one can effect positive change. In order to do that I must take a decidedly less negative tone towards the socio-political forces that support and implement disastrous policies, and instead take a decidedly more scholarly and scientific approach to solving the crisis before it becomes a disaster.

Well, that's my personal challenge to myself. Hopefully I won't stumble too many times, but hopefully will recognize when I do.

Try and have a wonderful day. ,

3 Opinions:

Blogger Charlie speaks!

You make some excellent points. It will help if we as individuals can try to inject some civility into political discussions.

11:29 PM  
Blogger oldwhitelady speaks!

The personal challenge for me is to regain my patience, tolerance, civility and humility. I was a far more effective person when I was cheerful and social and I need to get those back.

I've had some problems with that, myself. I agree that as cheerful and social people, we are more effective. Unfortunately, this admin has caused a lot of damage in many areas. I don't know if the damage can be repaired, but we must be willing to try. I wish we had a whole bunch of representatives with that same thought!

4:38 AM  
Blogger CF+L speaks!

Re: historically terrible times + patience, tolerance, civility and humility

It goes without saying that war, any war is detainable but in keeping with historical perspective it is important to note that this not a new human experience. What we are facing now is no more unusual or violent in the context of history than myriad of the religous/poitical clashes throughout the history of time. It again goes without saying that we should strive for peace, harmony and enlightenment, but in doing so we cannot ignore what it means to be fundamentally human. We are not perfect beings. We are overpopulated. We will always seek to secure resources. We will always seek to procreate. We will always seek security. This is not a new, only out methodology has changed. Our greatest weapon in this age old battle IS patience, tolerance, civility and humility. These traits are not a means to an end. They should not be strived for for the sake of effectiveness in promoting a modern political agenda but to be strived for for the continued betterment of mankind as a whole. This is enlightenment. Borders will fall, men will die, time will pass. The truth for the most part is that we as civilians are realitivly powerless to affect the modern geopolitical climate. Our greatest weapon is our own humility. To allow mankind to rise we must begin here and now, in our daily discourse. We must treat our own neighbors with kindness and respect, practice charity locally, practice patience, tolerance, civility and humility in our own daily lives. Otherwise we have no ground to stand on as we would be living in glass houses.

10:48 AM  

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