As I’m writing this, I’ve just watched the first Presidential Debate. Kerry did better than I had expected, and Bush seemed inarticulate at times (though he shone when he spoke about America’s need to win the war on terror).
It’s too bad that Bush isn’t as well spoken as Kerry is, because it makes it harder to see Bush’s worth. You still can hear what makes him a great leader, of course, but you have to stop making fun of him and actually listen.
Bush is a man of conviction. He has never wavered in the face of unpopularity – he resolutely stands his ground because he is doing what he believes is his duty. You could say that he has “firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right.”
When Bush decided to go into Iraq he knew that it could be unpopular. He knew that if we went in and removed Saddam that, weapons or no, we would have to turn Iraq into a democracy. He knew that this was going to take a long time and that it would cost American lives. He also knew that we would bring freedom to a new part of the world – that 30 million people would have the right to vote for the first time.
Bush is proud of America. We are the world’s moral superpower. And while we could sit around and wait for decades while the UN politely asks vicious dictators to behave like nice guys, we would be ignoring our responsibility. America has a history of fighting for right, which has made us so powerful that what was once an option is now our duty. We are the “shining city upon the hill” – the world’s beacon of freedom. We may not be able to give the whole world freedom in a hundred years, but we can certainly give some of the world freedom now. That is what Bush is doing.
Okay, so Bush remembers his duty to the world; does this mean that he forgets his duty to America? No. Bush’s economic plan has been more successful than any Bush-hater would like to admit. The 9/11 attacks made the recession (which started six months before Bush took office) evem worse – so the Democrats complained about the economy. Then our economy began to grow faster than it had for twenty years (since Reagan was President) – so the Democrats complained that our economy might be growing, but we weren’t creating new jobs. As of September 2004, however, the United States has created 1.9 million jobs in the last 13 months. This is more than the number of new jobs in Germany, Japan, Canada, Great Britain, and France combined.
What will the next four years bring? That’s up the American people; but how often do you find a politician whose views are the same no matter what the popularity polls say? Bush says what he believes in. He fights for freedom. As Hillel says in Pirkei Avos 2:6, “In a place where there are no men, try to be a man.” Bush has taken those words to heart – he is a man.