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||A Letter From The President
by Steven D. Laib, J.D. M.S.
The letter announced
that he was running for a second term, and made the usual pitch for support.
What followed after was, I thought, more important, because it speaks about
Mr. Bush’s view of America and what he professes to hold as goals for his
few days ago I received in my email, a forwarded message from President Bush.
It started out announcing that he was running for a second term, and making
the usual pitch for support. What followed after was, I thought, more
important because it speaks about Mr. Bush’s view of America and what he
professes to hold as goals for his administration. He said:
home, our most urgent mission is to strengthen our economy and create jobs.
To provide economic security and opportunity to every American, we must improve
health care, give senior citizens long-promised prescription drug benefits,
provide a quality education for every child, and insist on safe neighborhoods
My goal is to
build an ownership society where American families own their own homes, their
own health coverage, their own retirement accounts and, if they want, their
And we are working
to change the culture from one that too often said, 'if it feels good, do
it,' to a responsibility society where people know they are accountable for
what they do, for the children they bring into the world, and for loving
a neighbor like they'd like to be loved themselves.
With all due respect to our President, it seems to me that he is generally
saying the right things. Particularly, with respect to “strengthening
the economy” and “building an ownership society.” It sounds great on
paper, or in the conservative campaign rhetoric. But is this
in fact what he is doing?
An ownership society, and one where people are accountable for themselves
and their actions seems to run counter to the first group of goals.
It seems likely that people would be better off taking charge of their own
children’s education and the schools they attend. It might just save
money too. Also, if they can afford and can control their own health
care coverage, there should be no need for a government prescription drug
program. In the area of business, getting regulatory agencies and the
tax man off of the backs of small business owners would do more to secure
economic benefits and help people to be self sufficient than a lot of other
things which have been and will be proposed. There is a chance that
maybe he can get government to butt out for a change.
But Mr. Bush says more: “A great country strives for great objectives,”
which makes sense, but it seems that the greatest of objectives should be
giving the nation back to the people who are supposed to own it.
He speaks also of a painting in the Oval office entitled “ A Charge To Keep,”
which he says speaks to him of serving a cause greater than himself, and
which reminds him that his most important job is to unite the country and
provide leadership to overcome tough challenges. He continues that
America's true strength is in the people and their values, and that we ca
achieve anything if we set our minds to it.
Perhaps he is right, but it occurred to me while reading this that he might
have placed something else on the wall in front of his desk where he could
see it every day. It is a quote from a character created by J. Michael
Straczynski: “Who do you serve, and who do you trust?” Were I
in his position, I think it would be something I should spend much time thinking
The answer to first part should be obvious. The President’s job is
to serve the people. Who he can trust is an entirely different question,
and particularly in the present situation he faces a perhaps unique situation
in the history of American politics. We know he can trust in God.
However, he is the first president who has had to deal with a political enemy
cloaked behind a religion, which has the objective of wiping out everything
America stands for. He also faces home grown terrorists and political
opponents who have an almost pathological hatred of him and what he stands
for. And whether he likes it or not, whether he will admit it or not,
many of them have an equal dislike for the nation in which they live.
A few weeks back I happened to hear Dan Patrick speaking about conservatism
on Houston Texas radio station KSEV. He cited three basic qualities
a conservative demonstrates. As I recall, they were, first, belief
in small government, low taxes and government spending only on what was absolutely
necessary. Second, was support for a strong defense and strong law
enforcement. Third, was reliance on traditional American values and
the American family as the center of our social system. Perhaps with
some thought Mr. Bush will understand the importance of these qualities better,
and will adjust his thinking to come closer to them. This will probably
be necessary if he is to leave behind a nation, which will be able to do
the great things he believes us capable of. If our true strength is
our people and our values, our people should be allowed to promote those
values and to control their own destinies, rather than having government
in the way. Meanwhile, trusting the Democratic Party to be a partner
in achieving even modest things for an nation they have already written off
as militaristic and decadent while ignoring and heaping disrespect on its
people is foolish.
Will I support Mr. Bush for a second term? Yes, unless something better
comes along. I just hope that he remembers whom he serves and whom
he can trust when he is reelected.
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