Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Thursday, September 12, 2002

British praise for President Bush. A nice assessment of the President.

Over the past year, Mr Bush has shown himself to be a president for the Americans in the unexpected situation in which they found themselves. In the days after the World Trade Centre's towers fell, America's confidence was devastated; its spirit could have been September 11's greatest casualty.

Imagine what the reactions of Mr Clinton, say, or Al Gore might have been to September 11. Mr Gore's hallmark is caution; his finger-wagging attitude would have been woefully inadequate. Americans felt that Mr Bush was with them, not an external critic. He took America into war in Afghanistan, and the war was won.

Mr Bush's blunt approach came as relief from Mr Clinton's "I feel your pain" approach. Mr Bush did what Mr Clinton would never dare to do: he spoke of good and evil. And, to the embarrassment of British observers, he invokes God. "Our purpose as a nation is firm, yet our wounds are recent and unhealed and lead us to pray," he said last September 14.

To Americans, this seems not embarrassing, but natural and right. After September 11, Mr Bush's approval ratings were the second highest in American history, 88 per cent. Even now, despite some anxiety over war on Iraq, his ratings are 69 per cent - Mr Clinton's all-time high.

Mr Bush's go-it-alone stance and his tough talk have raised European hackles. But his attitude was what Americans needed. Mr Bush is responsible for America's recovery, as Rudolph Giuliani is responsible for New York's. Mr Bush speaks - today as last year - of Americans' future; their resolve, not their wounds. They might not have known it when he was elected, but Americans have found in Mr Bush a great leader.

There is also a great truth that needs to be understood in Europe and the UN that is alluded to at the end. That America's recovery is in the hands of Bush, not in the hands of the UN Security Council or Paris or Berlin or Brussels.

Of course, New York is in the hands of Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Pataki now. Not Giuliani.

< email | 9/12/2002 12:21:00 AM | link

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