Thursday, October 27, 2005

My assessment of George W. Bush

No one argues that George W. Bush is an exceptional intellect, but I would go much farther than that: I would suggest, based on the totality of his public record, that George W. Bush is well below median intelligence. In other words, yes, the man really is stupid. Seriously, the man is just plain dumb. Dumb as a post. Back in 2000, political commentators on television tripped over themselves to say, "But Governor Bush isn't stupid!" in a clear case of "thou doth protest too much."

I no more believe that George W. Bush has a well-grounded intellectual understanding of the benefits and pitfalls of supporting democracy in the Middle East, than I believe that he's a little green space alien. The same goes for any other policy issue from global warming to Social Security.

Indeed, my main response to the conspiracy theorists who yammer about how Bush is scheming to do this or that, is that he isn't smart enough to even participate in, much less lead, such a conspiracy. Using the word mastermind in the same breath with George W. Bush requires a three-ring circus of mental contortions.

I've also said that I don't believe that George W. Bush is a sincere Christian. There was a song we used to sing at church camp, "They'll know we are Christians by our love." It is your faith that makes you a true Christian, but it is by your works that you show that faith to the world, and the works of George W. Bush cannot be reconciled with treading in the footsteps of the Prince of Peace. In his book The President of Good and Evil, ethicist Peter Singer argues quite convincingly that George W. Bush has no consistent "moral compass" of any kind, much less one that aligns with Christianity.

The other important point is that I really do honestly believe that George W. Bush is crazy, detached from reality, and emotionally retarded. He consistently behaves like a petulant child, viewing the world in childlike terms of good guys (who can do no wrong) and bad guys (who are unalterably pure evil). Dr. Justin Frank, a professor of psychiatry, makes a convincing case that George W. Bush is in fact mentally ill in his book Bush on the Couch.

The totality of the man is even less than the sum of its parts. Bush is an idiot, a moron, a sociopath, and a lunatic. He is demonstrably incompetent in his job, and he surrounds himself with others who are incompetent, whose only qualification is their unflinching personal loyalty to him. To say that George W. Bush will easily displace Warren G. Harding as the worst President in U.S. history is akin to saying that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow.

The question, then, is why roughly half of American voters chose him to be President on two separate occasions. A geranium in a window box could've done a better job, because at least it would have been unable to make so many bad decisions. (The geranium also would've been prettier and would've smelled nicer, but I don't want to make those criteria qualifications for the Oval Office.) The American people have been lulled into ignoring competence and ability in favor of touchy-feely intangibles like folksiness and public piety, coupled with the political counterpart to crack cocaine: knee-jerk tax cuts.