Monday, August 4, 2008

The Presidency, Humility, and Bullshit

On October 12, 2000, during the height of his campaign for president, George W. Bush said this:

If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us; if we're a humble nation, but strong, they'll welcome us. And our nation stands alone right now in the world in terms of power, and that's why we've got to be humble, and yet project strength in a way that promotes freedom.
This wasn't an isolated statement, of course. Very shortly after our judicially-installed president took office, in January 2001, came this:
President Bush witnessed the swearing-in of his White House staff Monday and said he expected them to avoid even the appearance of impropriety and to conduct themselves with humility and civility at all times. ... "Today, everything is so promising and new," the new president said. "I'm hoping the day will never come when any of us take this place for granted."

Bush warned that he expected his White House staff to meet the highest ethical standards, avoiding not only violations of law, but even the appearance of impropriety.
So. How did choosing the candidate most willing to brag of his humility work out for us last time?

A presidential candidate who harps about humility is trading in utter bullshit. Presidential candidates think highly of themselves, highly of the United States, highly of the possibilities of the candidate actually gaining that level of power -- they actually believe they belong in the same office once held by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, and FDR, and moreover they think others should agree.

And we voters want presidents to be ready for the job, do we not? Which is to say we want them to belong somewhere in the same category as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, FDR, and all the rest.

The name-calling and whining about Obama's alleged "arrogance" is embarrassingly moronic.

Again, there are two kinds of Republicans: millionaires and suckers. This asinine "arrogance" meme is one of the methods by which people are working hard to create suckers.

Vote as your judgment tells you to vote, whether for Obama or for the newest edition of the oh-so-humble GOP candidate, John McSame. But respect yourself, the institution, and the process more than choosing on the notion that one of the candidates is "stuck-up" like some junior high rival.

As usual, The Daily Show captured it best:


The Amiable Atheist said...

I know, it is unbelievably stupid all of the rumors and name calling being perpetuated in the media about Obama.

Thanks for sharing that video.

Dale said...

AA, it's true. It's not surprising, but it's still absolutely ridiculous. And McCain has been so loud about his intention to run an issues-oriented campaign. Why say something like that when you know it's false?