Why George W. Bush Frightens Me
I voted for George W. Bush in 2000. At 26 years old, I considered myself a political “conservative.” I had begun to follow and study national politics around 1998. The more I read and studied, the further I drifted away from my previous “liberal” beliefs. I had begun to look at Democrats with revulsion and thought to myself, “How could any sane and moral person who is paying attention vote for a Democrat?” I had truly bought into the charade that there was a legitimate difference between the two major political parties in America.
I was dead wrong.
Over the last few years since George W. Bush has taken office, I have continued my drift to the right, which began around 1998, and become more conservative in my political and religious thinking. The more years that go by, the less tolerance I have for compromise on the important issues of our time. As I have continued my study of American history and politics, I have had to unwind my tangled brain from the spin and lies I was taught and re-string it with truth and reality.
The realization that our great nation has undertaken a massive defection from our constitutional underpinnings was one that I did not welcome easily. I didn’t want to listen to the arguments from the third-party wackos about how we had slid into socialism years ago and that the only way out was to abandon the two-party system wholesale. I was intellectually dishonest and did my best to shield myself from arguments wielded by traditional conservatives, or “paleo-conservatives.”
From listening to and reading Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, I had all the party-line arguments against “liberalism” down pat. But I just didn’t know what to say to the paleo-conservatives in response to their arguments against neo-conservatism. I thought many of their criticisms were entirely legitimate, but figured that these guys were living on the fringes of American politics and that I could safely ignore their wailings about a “tyrannical” government and the continuing “restrictions” of our freedoms.
One night in early 2003, I was listening to Hannity’s radio show. A man called in and began to rattle off facts, figures, and moral positions that clearly identified him as a “conservative.” Judging by what the man was saying, I guessed that he would be well received by Hannity and that the call would go well. Then the man began to say that there was no real difference between the two political parties and that Bush, by his actions, had proven that he was every bit as “liberal” as those who Hannity regularly bashed on his show every day. Just as the man began to talk about the “socialists” who run our government, Hannity shut him down by yelling at him, then terminated the phone call while the man was in mid-sentence. Hannity called the man a lunatic, or something similar, and quickly went to another caller without addressing even one of the points raised by the man who had been hung-up on.
I remember thinking to myself, “What in the world was that caller thinking? Bush is a conservative.” But this radio incident tickled my brain for weeks and months as I began to seriously doubt, by observing his behavior, that Bush was a conservative. I wondered why Hannity, who by his own admission prides himself on “intellectual honesty,” would argue day and night with ultra-left wing extremists, but when a right-winger calls the show with legitimate gripes about the Republican Party, he is yelled at and hung-up on.
I finally realized what it was that Hannity felt so threatened by during that phone call. The caller was exposing the neo-conservatives for the frauds that they really are, and Hannity could not and would not allow that to happen. Could you imagine conservatives around our nation coming to their senses and realizing that they were being represented by a bunch of warfare-welfare socialists? The only real threat to the neo-conservative movement is traditional conservatives. And these people must be silenced at any cost by men like Rush and Hannity.
As the Bush presidency wore on, I became more and more disenchanted with his actions. I began to realize that, although Bush and all of his supporters said he was a “conservative,” this man qualified more for the political title of “socialist.” I did my best to shed the neo-conservative paradigm that had gripped my mind and tried to look at what was really going on in American politics. I began to listen more and more to the little-heard voices from that right-wing political “fringe” that had scared me away before with all of their talk of a “constitutional republic” and whatnot.
The more I listened to these voices, the more I realized that this was my true political home.
BUSH, THE AGENT OF GOD?
If there were any doubts about the socialist tendencies of Bush, these doubts ought to have been washed away in the floodtide of political propaganda that was Bush’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. As I watched the speech on television, I was fully prepared for a monstrous and unconstitutional gaggle of new big-government spending programs, and Bush did not fail on this account. What I wasn’t prepared for was that Bush would make the stupendous and incredible claim that, as the Commander-in-Chief of our fine military forces, he sees himself working as an agent for the Almighty Creator God of the Universe.
The only thing more surprising than this claim was the fact that a room full of “conservatives” (many of them professing evangelical Christians) would stand up and bellow cheers at the President after his remarks on the God-mission he claims to be on.
Bush began this tirade of insanity with the statements, “I believe in the transformational power of liberty. The wisest use of American strength is to advance freedom.” He went on to speak of this mysterious “power of liberty” as if is an actual physical force in our midst that cannot be controlled, but merely directed.
Somehow, the “advance of freedom” around the globe has become the mission statement of America, with George W. Bush as the head cheerleader. Forget all that nonsense the founders believed in about not becoming involved in unnecessary wars and entangling alliances. We are going to force-feed the “best” version of government to weaker nations around the world, whether they want it or not, all in the name of “advancing freedom.” This is not news to anyone paying attention.
But what is news to me is that this forcible exportation of democracy is going to be done in the name of the Most High God.
Bush stated, “I believe that America is called to lead the cause of freedom in a new century” (emphasis added). The question then logically becomes, “Well, who is it that is calling us?” Are other nations around the world begging America to bring war all over the globe in the name of democracy? I believe the exact opposite is the case. Well, if other nations aren’t calling America to a specific destiny, then who is? In terrifying fashion, Bush elaborates on who exactly he believes is calling America to “lead the cause of freedom.”
After omnisciently claiming that people in the Middle East “plead in silence for their liberty,” our mind-reading President goes on state, “I believe that given the chance, they will embrace the most honorable form of government ever devised by man. I believe all these things because freedom is not America’s gift to the world, it is the Almighty God’s gift to every man and woman in this world.”
This statement is very profound in that it exposes the very root of the foreign policy thinking of this President. In the years to come, Bush has promised that America will be going to war around the globe to “advance freedom” in the name of God. He is going to force this “gift” from God on other nations at the point of the sword. If this kind of insane rhetoric doesn’t terrify Americans everywhere, then maybe I am the only one who has lost his mind. But I don’t believe this to be the case.
Bush might as well have said, “In the future, we are going to go to war against nations who present no threat to America, and we will do this not only because it is for their own good, but primarily because God wants us to.” Going into unnecessary wars with nations around the globe is now seen in the beautiful and patriotic light of “advancing freedom” and promoting liberation, instead of war being a last resort and only necessary when our nation’s security is threatened.
And at such a dreaded end lies the logic of the shame-faced neo-cons who found no WMDs in Iraq. With no evidence discovered to back up the claims of the legitimate threat to American soil that the invasion was founded upon, the neo-cons are trying their hardest to convince Americans that we invaded to liberate the populace of Iraq. The American people would never have supported the Iraq war solely to liberate the people of that nation. The war had support because Americans were told that there were massive inventories of WMDs in Iraq, and that these weapons were on the verge of being given to terrorists to use against our people. Now that no WMDs have been located, “advancing freedom” and liberation has become the rallying cry of the war-mongering neo-conservatives who are eager to invade other nations in the near future.
Bush elaborates further on the “called-out” nature he believes America is embodying, “Like generations before us, we have a calling from beyond the stars to stand for freedom” (emphasis added). I humbly propose that this type of rhetoric would have shocked the consciences of the founders of this great nation; that America’s destiny would involve preemptively and without just cause, invading other nations around the world, believing that God (or some other mysterious force that lives “beyond the stars”) has called us to just this task.
A PLEA FOR SANITY
Mr. President, with all due respect, you may believe you are “called” to such action, but I reject this form of worship at the altar of the state. To elevate a nation to the status of an Agent of God is to introduce a wicked form of state worship and idolatry. The state may be given authority by God (Romans 13), but by abusing this authority and elevating the state into a realm where only He can and must reside is the most dangerous form of self-deception imaginable.
You may believe that America has been tasked by God to accomplish goals that, coincidentally, are politically expedient for you and your party, but I believe the Bible clearly speaks against such hubris and blatant statism, and therefore I dismiss it wholesale. I thought that God wanted people to preach the gospel of the Savior to all nations, not to force a certain form of government on all nations.
I feel that I am blessed to live in this great nation and I love America as much as the next man. I write this criticism not because I wish for America to disintegrate, as so many on the left do, but because I wish for a greater nation than we have today, and one that is in the tradition of what our founders intended. I love the America that was founded on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, not the monstrosity that America has become under an abusive federal government that is the sole arbiter of its own power, operating virtually unchecked.
Mr. Bush, just because you are waving an American flag at me does not make you any more patriotic than I, and it does not invalidate the fact that you are promoting state worship, neo-colonialism, and a Crusade through the mass export of endless warfare at what you believe is the behest of God. I can’t imagine of anything more dangerous than a man, who is in charge of the greatest fighting force ever assembled on planet earth, believing that he is on a mission from God to invade other nations around the globe.
Frankly, sir, you terrify me.
September 10, 2004