George W. Bush - Stupid, Evil, or Wrong?
You know, predicate nominative's comment on the previous post made me want to write something more serious about my oppostion to the Bush administration. He's right, pictures like the one below is "just too easy" in some ways. It belittles the danger that Bush represents. PN goes on to state that Bush's evil needs to be exposed, which got me to think about my three stages of responding to Bush.

"Bush is Stupid" - When I first got to know about George W. Bush in the late 90's I thought that he was just an idiot, but probably an affable idiot. I thought he was born to privilege and was just riding the currents, which is probably true, but didn't really have any original thoughts. I figured his stupidity made him largely a harmless speck on the political landscape, and, honestly, I figured he'd be too stupid even if he were elected president to do much harm. Boy was I wrong.

"Bush is Evil" - When I started to realize that Bush, while not being the brightest bulb around, actually had a fairly coherent agenda of social conservatism and unilateralism, I began to think he was simply evil in a Machiavellian sense (or should we now say "Nessian"? (just kidding Donny (mostly))). I started to think that his "stupidity" was in some sense a show that he played up to allow himself to fly beneath the radar and distract the media from the real changes he and his administration were making to our country. But then I started to think seriously about the nature of "evil" and his own use of that term which, to my way of thinking, was polemic and divisive. I really didn't want to be in the same camp with Bush in his use of the word "evil." Granted, I think that many of the things Bush has done have been evil. But I have come to believe, in his heart, he doesn't intend to do evil. Which leads to my third stage of understanding Bush...

"Bush is Wrong" - I have come to believe that George W. Bush, his cronies, and, by the way, much of America simply have a radically different world view than my own. Bush believes that he can make America safe by eliminating evil from the world and that he is engaged in an epic struggle between good and evil. He sees the world in very black and white terms and has all but stated there is no room for gray. He has said, as Richard Clarke reported, "I don't do nuance." I, on the other hand, live in a world full of shades of gray that is filled with nuance and irony and even paradox. The difference is that he has his hand on the levers and the buttons and can translate his worldview into global action. The results, as we've seen, have been nothing short of disasterous. His worldview is different from mine and, frankly, it's wrong. It's wrong in the same sense as when a scientist postulates a theory and then tests the theory by experimenation and discovers that the data doesn't fit the theory. The scientist can either adjust or scrap the theory or try to make the data fit the theory. Bush is like a scientist who tries to make the data fit the theory. In other words, Bush is wrong. And this, moreso than being stupid or evil, makes him very, very dangerous.

All of this is to say, I agree with you PN, if we're to be serious we need to do more than simply laugh at our crazy, bumbling, goofball president. But I think we need to do more than label him as evil and start some sort of opposing holy crusade. We need a more rigorous and informed opposition than that.

posted by Ironic1 at 1:11 PM
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