Gallantry: What Liberals can Learn from George W. Bush

The other day, the American people saw George W. Bush once again addressing his critics in connection with the NSA's surveillance program . Despite the fact that he has been accused of the worst of possible motives — of willfully and deliberately breaking the law to spy on his fellow citizens — the President tackled this and other gratuitous charges without a trace of anger or bitterness.

A relative few presidents in this country's history have endured the kind of vicious and spurious attacks that have been leveled against George Bush. Completely abandoning any sense of decorum or statesmanship, some of the highest officials in the Democratic Party have repeatedly called him a liar, a loser, an election—thief, an airhead, and a fraud. Regularly likened to Hitler, there have been books discussing his assassination. Recently he was even dubbed the world's greatest terrorist by one of America's once—prominent entertainers . There are just a few of examples. Sadly, such views are increasingly becoming part of the mainstream liberal outlook.

But no matter how malicious they have been, George Bush has always faced his critics with affability and goodwill. Even his most bitter enemies — hating him as they do — would be hard pressed to fault him for being uncivil or personally unpleasant. He displays none of the unkindness, harshness or anger one would normally expect from someone engaged in a political struggle against those who frenziedly seek his destruction.

In fact, Bush's gallant manner has become something of a trademark. His comportment has served him well, for he has triumphed in almost every great battle he has fought, including two heatedly—fought national elections. His successes tend to drive his opponents into what can only be called spasms of political hysteria, and not knowing what else to do, they crank up even further their already outlandish rhetoric. Their near—madness is indeed a sight to behold.

What this shows is that that when you are on the side of right you do not have to be brusque to prevail. Conducting yourself with grace and dignity can in itself have a devastating effect. Insults and vituperation are altogether unnecessary. Quite to the contrary — geniality and personal warmth further augment the effectiveness of your words and actions.

Rush Limbaugh chalks up the bad beating that liberals have been taking in recent years to a lack of proficiency in the art of argumentation. His contention is that during the fifty or so years of media monopoly they became intellectually indolent and are now unable to counter conservatives who, by contrast, patiently built their intellectual armoury during their long period of minority status.

This is only partially correct. Although it is true that more and more people are becoming adept in articulating conservatism, liberalism's present day haplessness is not primarily due to a lack of argumentative skills on the part of its advocates. Unfortunately for them, their predicament runs much deeper. Their real and ultimately insurmountable problem is that most of their beliefs and positions are inherently indefensible. For how does one make a case for multiculturalism, abortion, bigger state, socialized healthcare or higher taxes?

It certainly cannot be done by logic or deductive reasoning — no matter how skilful they may ever become in these — since the hard truth is that all of the above ultimately lead to bad outcomes. High taxes, just to take one, in the long run invariably depress economic activity and bring in less in tax receipts which is the opposite of what was intended in the first place. This is a matter of incontrovertible economic laws.

One cannot argue one's way out around these laws if debating an opponent who has a solid grasp of the subject. And increasingly more people do, which is why liberals are having such a hard time these days. So profound is their desperation and impotence that often they can think of nothing better than heckling, throwing  (and here) and squirting salad dressing at conservative speakers. It is both telling and ironic that this often happens in universities which are supposed to serve as forums where opposing points of view are freely and openly discussed.

Do we need a better illustration of liberals' intellectual and moral corruption?

This should help us see why so few liberals are either amiable or gracious or civil or good—natured. These virtues are for the most part alien to those who believe untruths and as a result cannot prevail by logic and argument. Their only hope lies in deception and personal attacks. They must lie about what they believe and demonize those who disagree. Over time this tends to make them vicious, bitter and hateful. One needs to look no further than Howard Dean, Teddy Kennedy, Chuck Schumer, Noam Chomsky, Al Gore, Michael Moore, Harry Reid and the aging Jimmy Carter for confirmation that this is indeed the case. And they are just a few among many. We could go on and on.

What a glaring contrast with the gracious deportment of George W. Bush. In him we see the human aspect of conservatism at its best — kindly, affable and good—natured. The fact that there are other conservative champions who exhibit these as well as other admirable qualities should makes us confident and optimistic. Rush Limbaugh, Victor David Hanson, Mary Matalin, George Will, Sean Hannity, Cal Thomas, Bill Kristol, David Horowitz, Clarence Thomas, Peggy Noonan, Mark Steyn are some examples. They truly are gallant and classy warriors in the great struggles of our time.

It makes one regret that they have almost no counterparts on the liberal side of the battlefield.

Vasko Kohlmayer defected from Communist Czechoslovakia at the age of 19. He lives in London and works in the publishing industry. He can be contacted at vasko_kohlmayer@msn.com.

The other day, the American people saw George W. Bush once again addressing his critics in connection with the NSA's surveillance program . Despite the fact that he has been accused of the worst of possible motives — of willfully and deliberately breaking the law to spy on his fellow citizens — the President tackled this and other gratuitous charges without a trace of anger or bitterness.

A relative few presidents in this country's history have endured the kind of vicious and spurious attacks that have been leveled against George Bush. Completely abandoning any sense of decorum or statesmanship, some of the highest officials in the Democratic Party have repeatedly called him a liar, a loser, an election—thief, an airhead, and a fraud. Regularly likened to Hitler, there have been books discussing his assassination. Recently he was even dubbed the world's greatest terrorist by one of America's once—prominent entertainers . There are just a few of examples. Sadly, such views are increasingly becoming part of the mainstream liberal outlook.

But no matter how malicious they have been, George Bush has always faced his critics with affability and goodwill. Even his most bitter enemies — hating him as they do — would be hard pressed to fault him for being uncivil or personally unpleasant. He displays none of the unkindness, harshness or anger one would normally expect from someone engaged in a political struggle against those who frenziedly seek his destruction.

In fact, Bush's gallant manner has become something of a trademark. His comportment has served him well, for he has triumphed in almost every great battle he has fought, including two heatedly—fought national elections. His successes tend to drive his opponents into what can only be called spasms of political hysteria, and not knowing what else to do, they crank up even further their already outlandish rhetoric. Their near—madness is indeed a sight to behold.

What this shows is that that when you are on the side of right you do not have to be brusque to prevail. Conducting yourself with grace and dignity can in itself have a devastating effect. Insults and vituperation are altogether unnecessary. Quite to the contrary — geniality and personal warmth further augment the effectiveness of your words and actions.

Rush Limbaugh chalks up the bad beating that liberals have been taking in recent years to a lack of proficiency in the art of argumentation. His contention is that during the fifty or so years of media monopoly they became intellectually indolent and are now unable to counter conservatives who, by contrast, patiently built their intellectual armoury during their long period of minority status.

This is only partially correct. Although it is true that more and more people are becoming adept in articulating conservatism, liberalism's present day haplessness is not primarily due to a lack of argumentative skills on the part of its advocates. Unfortunately for them, their predicament runs much deeper. Their real and ultimately insurmountable problem is that most of their beliefs and positions are inherently indefensible. For how does one make a case for multiculturalism, abortion, bigger state, socialized healthcare or higher taxes?

It certainly cannot be done by logic or deductive reasoning — no matter how skilful they may ever become in these — since the hard truth is that all of the above ultimately lead to bad outcomes. High taxes, just to take one, in the long run invariably depress economic activity and bring in less in tax receipts which is the opposite of what was intended in the first place. This is a matter of incontrovertible economic laws.

One cannot argue one's way out around these laws if debating an opponent who has a solid grasp of the subject. And increasingly more people do, which is why liberals are having such a hard time these days. So profound is their desperation and impotence that often they can think of nothing better than heckling, throwing  (and here) and squirting salad dressing at conservative speakers. It is both telling and ironic that this often happens in universities which are supposed to serve as forums where opposing points of view are freely and openly discussed.

Do we need a better illustration of liberals' intellectual and moral corruption?

This should help us see why so few liberals are either amiable or gracious or civil or good—natured. These virtues are for the most part alien to those who believe untruths and as a result cannot prevail by logic and argument. Their only hope lies in deception and personal attacks. They must lie about what they believe and demonize those who disagree. Over time this tends to make them vicious, bitter and hateful. One needs to look no further than Howard Dean, Teddy Kennedy, Chuck Schumer, Noam Chomsky, Al Gore, Michael Moore, Harry Reid and the aging Jimmy Carter for confirmation that this is indeed the case. And they are just a few among many. We could go on and on.

What a glaring contrast with the gracious deportment of George W. Bush. In him we see the human aspect of conservatism at its best — kindly, affable and good—natured. The fact that there are other conservative champions who exhibit these as well as other admirable qualities should makes us confident and optimistic. Rush Limbaugh, Victor David Hanson, Mary Matalin, George Will, Sean Hannity, Cal Thomas, Bill Kristol, David Horowitz, Clarence Thomas, Peggy Noonan, Mark Steyn are some examples. They truly are gallant and classy warriors in the great struggles of our time.

It makes one regret that they have almost no counterparts on the liberal side of the battlefield.

Vasko Kohlmayer defected from Communist Czechoslovakia at the age of 19. He lives in London and works in the publishing industry. He can be contacted at vasko_kohlmayer@msn.com.