George W. Finally Found His Voice
George W. Bush stayed mum during most of his presidency. He started with a strong voice in his first year as president, after 9/11, when gave a rousing and uplifting speech to the nation and the world, standing atop the rubble left behind by Islamic extremism.
His voice then faltered as he tried to make the case for invading Afghanistan and Iraq to avenge the atrocities of 9/11. His voice did not explain that most of the terrorists were from Saudi Arabia or that Saddam Hussein was not behind the 9/11 attacks. As the war dragged on, American soldiers returned from the Middle East in coffins. Shades of Viet Nam, an ill-conceived war, unclear aims, based on massive intelligence failures at best, lies at worst, with no end in sight.
President Bush was silent, while his political enemies, including the media, repeated the mantra, “Bush lied, people died” incessantly. “A lie told often enough becomes the truth” as Vladimir Lenin told us. No pushback from Bush. No explanation. No defense of his Iraq and Afghanistan invasions. Simply silence.
The now-former president’s only words were weak. “There’s no need to defend myself,” Bush explained in an interview. “I did what I did and ultimately history will judge.”
Judgment was delivered last November with the election of Donald Trump. After 16 years, this momentous judgment was delivered by the American people, against both the Bush and Clinton families.
Not only during his presidency did he lose his voice, but also during the eight years of Barack Obama. Fast and Furious, Obamacare, Benghazi, chaos in the Middle East, the Iran nuke deal and an anemic economy weren’t enough to distract George W from his painting and mountain biking to utter a single word.
He chose to respect the time-honored tradition of former presidents not commenting on or criticizing their successors. A worthy endeavor, practiced only by former Republican presidents, not Democrats, who can’t wait to insert themselves back into the spotlight. Bush honored that for eight years, while Obama was president. With Trump’s election, that tradition ended.
There was George W., finding his voice only minutes into the Trump presidency, saying to his sister-in-arms Hillary Clinton, “That was some weird s—t”, after Trump’s inaugural speech.
Then there was his recent speech at a conference he convened in New York. The New York Times gleefully reported that George W., “emerged from political seclusion on Thursday to deliver what sounded like pointed rebukes of the current occupant of the Oval Office and the forces of division that propelled him to power.”
Bush “defended immigration and free trade, denounced nationalism and bigotry,” leaving little doubt who he was criticizing. He found his voice, absent for most of the past 16 years, during both his and Obama’s tenure in the White House.
Then again, how could Bush criticize Obama? Obama continued many of the Bush policies. Endless wars, started by Bush, continued by Obama. Open borders, promoted by both. Bush doubled the national debt, Obama doubled it again, hardly grounds for criticism as he continued Bush’s fiscal irresponsibility.
Both started their presidencies with low unemployment, ending with high unemployment. Both started with congressional majorities of their own party. Both lost those majorities during their presidencies.
Both fabricated either the rationale for war in the Middle East or the excuse for leaving Americans to die in Benghazi.
Both scorned the Tea Party, and now both mock the so-called “forces of division,” also known as Trump voters. Bush was silent when Hillary Clinton called Trump supporters “deplorables” but now has his voice agreeing with Mrs. Clinton.
Birds of a feather. The Clintons, Bushes and Obamas. All three families would be comfortable lunching at Kennebunkport. The Trumps would be as unwelcome as Al Czervik, the Rodney Dangerfield character in Caddyshack, was at the Bushwood Country Club, lunching with Judge Smails.
The uni-party, the establishment. The Bushes leaning a bit to the right, the Clintons and Obamas way to the left, but all part of the ruling class. The elite, the anointed. Globalists favoring endless wars, open borders and big government. George W. is in good company with his father and pals Bill and Barack, fellow travelers seeking the “new world order” which Pappy Bush spoke of in 1990.
How has that worked out? Sending the U.S. military to secure the borders of sovereign countries around the world while leaving our own borders nonexistent. Pushing the national debt north of $20 trillion, higher than our GDP.
George W. was an integral part of all of this. He would not speak to defend his actions and choices nor would he comment on or criticize policies one would think he would be against. Perhaps he didn’t oppose those policies after all.
Instead it took the outsider, the wrecking ball, the ultimate threat to the ruling class establishment, Donald Trump to loosen George W. Bush’s tongue, awakening him from his cone of silence. His words now are meaningless, devoid of credibility after 16 years of silence. As relevant as what some Hollywood entertainer or kneeling football player thinks of Trump and his agenda.
George W. is a decent man. But rather than criticize Trump, he should realize that he is one of the reasons Donald Trump is president. Along with his father, Barack Obama, and Bill and Hillary Clinton. Almost 30 years of disdain for ordinary Americans, culture and values. It’s time he goes back to his painting.
Brian C. Joondeph, MD, MPS, a Denver based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.