We, long since, set up a special page offering links to articles on William J. Clinton, his Administration, his deplorable policies & tactics. For some time, as our personal opinion of George W. Bush has steadily declined, we have considered giving him similar treatment. However, a lingering association with the Republican Party, and a perhaps naive belief that the President could still be trusted to do some things right, had caused us to hesitate to post the following list of essays that analyze George W. Bush's speeches, actions & associates, from a Conservative perspective at the Truth Based Logic Web Site.
Now the President has apparently dropped the pretense of being an exponent of the American tradition. In a groveling address, delivered July 20, 2006, before a Convention of the NAACP, he not only clearly identified with their historic attack upon traditional values in pursuit of a Socialist agenda but, in the process, deliberately defamed the memory of the Founders of America. Whatever correct stands, the man may have taken in the past, his discussion of the involved concepts suggests that he really did not fully understand what he was doing; that, when right, it was for cloudy reasons; when wrong, it was because he had come to accept the underlying, if cloudborne, egalitarian shibboleths of the 20th Century Left. However reluctantly, we have come to the conclusion that George W. Bush simply lacks the intellect to recognize the fundamental conflict between the philosophy he voiced at the NAACP Convention and that of those of us who actually have the philosophical orientation to which he has previously laid claim. Or how else shall one explain comments such as these:
For nearly 200 years, our nation failed the test of extending the blessings of liberty to African Americans. Slavery was legal for nearly a hundred years, and discrimination legal in many places for nearly a hundred years more. Taken together, the record placed a stain on America's founding, a stain that we have not yet wiped clean.
Our feature for August, 2006 offers an expanded version of this initial commentary on the President's address. It has been placed atop the list of other links below. But there are so many things wrong with the brief paragraph, quoted, that a few comments are in order even in what is intended to be but an introduction to that reading list, which follows.
The President refers to a "failed test." While that is a rhetorical device, it is conceptually vacuous. The American settler peoples did not risk everything in 1776 to humor some mysterious standard, which would satisfy the American Left 230 years later. Nor did they rise against their former Government to achieve anything for those individuals, of whatever race, that some Americans, at that time, held in bondage.
Nor, however unfortunate, is the fact that Americans did hold bondsmen for an extensive period any more of a stain on the American character, enduring or not, than similar phenomena were a stain on the character of those leaders of the ancient world, who shepherded remarkable developments in civilization and human knowledge, whether in Greece, Rome, Egypt, China, etc.. We consider it extraordinary that George W. Bush, who has convinced many Americans that he is a dedicated, Biblically directed Christian, would so impugn the character of the Founding Fathers over a system to all intents and purposes no different than that practiced by the Patriarchs in the Bible; one clearly recognized, later, in the Tenth Commandment, which Moses brought down from Mt. Sinai; one largely accepted through the first Eighteen Centuries of the Christian era.
Yet as reprehensible as a President's seeking to revive the slavery issue, 140 years after slavery ended in America, the President's comment on "discrimination" is even more contemptible. The wrong of slavery was, of course, to the slave, who was denied individual freedom. But the harmful effects of slavery were to both slave and master; each being limited in the development of personal responsibility by, in the case of the slave, having all major decisions made for him; and, in the case of the master, by having others perform tasks perhaps better performed for oneself. But discrimination is an attribute of responsible freedom, it is hardly an extension of the dependent status of the slave. The whole thrust is in the opposite direction. That President Bush would simply accept the "Civil Rights" movement's mantra that suggests a conflict between "discrimination" & freedom, without even an attempt to actually analyze the dynamics involved, confirms some of the most uncomfortable perceptions, we have gradually developed as to his competence.
Discrimination is about making choices; about the actor (the discriminator) in the particular situation making his or her own choices, rather than having those choices forced upon him. Indeed, the right to discriminate, to decide on the basis of what distinctions, one will make personal choices, goes to the very essence of personal freedom. Let no one pretend that this President respects the American tradition of personal, individual, freedom when he considers our earlier acceptance of that personal freedom to make choices of which the Government might not approve, a "stain on America's founding, a stain that we have not yet wiped clean."
America was not founded by those who thought that Government should have the right to deny an employer the right to hire someone based upon that employer's personal preferences, whether determined by race, creed, national origin, or any other criteria conceived to be important to that employer. A people who rose up in defiance of a claimed British right to quarter soldiers in private homes, were not about to found a new system premised upon a belief that an all powerful State or Federal Government could tell a landlord to whom he could rent, or to whom he could sell property. America was not founded on the principle that parents would have to look to the Federal Government to determine which schools, or with whom else, their children would attend. Yet, it was just these grossly expanded (usurped) new roles of that Federal Government, which the "Civil Rights" movement sought and obtained in the 1960s, in what the President described, two paragraphs after the one quoted above, as "a second founding of America: the Civil Rights movement."
The President's fawning to the NAACP over the "Civil Rights" movement, as a "second founding of America," is almost a studied insult to those he referred to as "the likes of Washington and Jefferson and Franklin and Adams." It really told us nothing valid about either America or the "Civil Rights" movement. Personal freedom to disagree with the NAACP or the President is not a stain that we have not yet wiped clean. The speech did not offer an idealistic vision. Rather it suggested acceptance of a totalitarian mindset. It exposed the flawed perceptions and flawed character of an inadequate man. America deserved far better.