"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt." -- JP Curran, 1790

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Charge to Keep

The painting above is titled A Charge to Keep by W.H.D. Koerner. It was lent to then Governor George W. Bush (R-TX) who says this scene "epitomizes our mission" in his book with the same title "A Charge to Keep".

I read the book prior to the 2000 election and I recommend it as a reread or first read for anyone who cares to get better sense of this man. There are many in this country with a deep-seeded hatred for George W. Bush. They have launched a continuing concerted effort to destroy, blame, ridicule, and belittle him. He is the source and reason for all of their problems. I myself have disagreed and criticized his policies and approach. However, if you disapprove of a persons' actions and prevent yourself from understanding that person, your disapproval can morph into anger and hatred for that person. People who have disagreed with President Bush's policies don't just hate the policy, they hate the man. In that hate they contrive conspiracy theories that range into disturbing ulterior motives.

Take President Johnson as an example, a President who's policies I am not fond of. There are some who in disagreement with him over Vietnam have created the idea that he played a part in orchestrating the assassination of President Kennedy with the sole purpose of pursuing war in Vietnam. That is just as ridiculous as thinking President Bush passively allowed 9/11 to invade Iraq is some sort of vindication for his father. It is these obscure and absurd conspiracies that demonstrate the ignorance of the person.

Many pages will be written on the decisions President Bush as made, when reading them ask yourself if the author present the realities of the environment at the time and the mentality of the decision makers. So as we bid farewell to our 43rd President, I think it is important to understand who he is and why he made the decisions he did as President. An under-appreciated characteristic of President Bush has been his consistent keeping of his charge through determination, conviction, and grit (symbolized in the painting above).

Conversely, this same logic should be applied towards our 44th President Barack Obama. Unfortunately, the relative the genuine exposure of Barack's character has been somewhat more defunct when compared to the accessibility with past Presidents. I imagine that as he takes office, the unequivocal coverage of Presidents will reveal more of who Barack Obama is and how he makes decisions.

Signing off...JCB

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