- I got an icq today from a friend and reader of this blog who suggested that my recent remarks concerning President Bush sound more “hateful than well-reasoned.”
Re-reading the post in question, I some-what agree with her. I think it is better to argue issues than attack people, and maybe I crossed the line. (Bush certainly is not on the same level of Andrew Jackson. 1 )
On the other hand, I do have sincere concerns about President Bush’s policies and actions. I do not know his motives (no one can judge hearts but God) but I can’t help but be alarmed by what seems to be happening.
Anyway, let me make this clear. I do not hate George Bush. I do think that most of his policies are wrong , but I think he probably means well. If my anger towards his policies have bled over into articulating a hatred to the man, that is not my intent. I have met Dubya two times when I lived in Texas and he was Governor. Both times I was struck with his friendliness. He is the kind of guy you would love to have come over to your Super Bowl party or something. He seems like a nice guy.
But as the old saying goes “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” and Presidents throughout our nation’s history have done some attrocious things with good intentions. To name a few:
Lincoln – in the pursuit of the union’s preservation suspended one of our most basic rights, habeas corpus
FDR – a great man who helped so many through the depression, but also committed grave injustices to Japanese-Americans during WWII
LBJ – out of a desire to stop the spread of Communism in Southeastern Asia, he ended up entangling the US in the quagmires of Vietnam
Now, there are plenty of other Presidents that in hind-site we know did the wrong things for the wrong reasons: Andrew Jackson’s refusal to enforce the Cherokee’s win in the Supreme Court, Clinton’s wag-the-dog bombings, etc. But I do think those folks are the exception.
Yet, Presidential good intentions are no excuse for wrong policies, especially when they endanger our Constitutional rights. Bush, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, et. al I think mean well but are dead wrong. National security means nothing if we have to sacrifice our freedom to achieve it. I think our founding fathers (especially “Give me liberty or give me death” Patrick Henry) would be on my side here.
Anyway, you can count on me to keep speaking against encroachments on freedom as I see it, but I will strive harder to not let those pronouncements become hateful.
1 In 1831 the Supreme Court of the United States, in a decision rendered by Justice, John Marshall, declared the forced removal of the entire Cherokee Nation from their ancestral homes in the South Eastern United States to be illegal, unconstitutional and against treaties made. President Andrew Jackson, having the executive responsibility for enforcement of the laws had this to say:
“John Marshall has made his decision; let him enforce it now if he can.”Quote taken from: http://www.iwchildren.org/genocide/shame9.htm