sundance @ The Last Refuge:
One of the frustrating realities of our polarized time is the media creating a skewed and left leaning view of all things political. However, even with this headwind, each day many more people choose to engage in and honest discovery and understanding of what’s going on. Whether because they stumble upon a concern, or whether they happen across some information that makes them rethink their prior position and views, it can lead to an engagement with us from a perspective of their only reality view having been determined by the lens of the media.
Indeed that can be, and often is, an incredibly frustrating conversation because they bring an embedded and sometimes flawed bias into their narrative. One of the more common misunderstandings stems from the media hatred of George W Bush and his actions, aptly called Bush Derangement Syndrome (BSD).
What I want to do here is not change anyone’s mind, but rather to remind people what led to some of Dubya’s decisions in his own words.
I must first emphasize at the time of Dubya’s tenure in the White House I was not a supporter of many “Bush policies”, however, I did understand his reasoning.
Sometimes research into “why” was needed to understand this reasoning, but there were valid reasons nonetheless. It is unfair for the liberal media, or for any Johnny-come-lately to re-write his motivation as illicit, it was not. In hindsight some of his policies and approaches may have been wrong, but it generally is unfair to look in the rear view mirror to judge. Again, at times it is important to stop the conversation, pause, and remind ourselves what was going on at the time.
When Dubya took office the economic country was moving along steadily, indeed Dubya was less focused on fiscal matters and more focused on educational and social issues. The primary plank of his candidacy was education. People were working, things were quiet, and the country was steadily moving forward with little attention to outside the U.S. influences. However, all that changed immediately on 9/11/2001.
When the terrorist planes hit the WTC, the Pentagon, and the failed Capitol Building attempt which ended in a farm field in Pennsylvania, every American stood in shock. Everything changed, immediately.
Again, I’m not defending Bush. Bush was not adverse to government spending. From a fiscal perspective Dubya guy pissed me off more than most, but I accept the fact that everything in his world also changed after 9/11 especially with the economy.
What many people fail to remember is our economy came to an abrupt halt on 9/11. Not only was our collective conscience shocked and we felt suddenly vulnerable to attack, but the very core of our society was attacked. Our economy literally came to a grinding and immediate thundershock of a stop.
The images of people jumping out of burning buildings as the “best option” left impressions of their bodies exploding on the sidewalks of our psyche. Not only did it scare the crap out of us, it also caused us to retract into an almost economic coma.
The Stock Market closed. For weeks and then months people stayed away from purchasing anything, businesses were immediately in trouble. People didn’t buy stuff. Cars were not selling, shops were empty, massive economic activity just stopped as suddenly as the planes hitting the World Trade Center Towers. In addition to the risk from terrorism, Bush was also facing an immediate, check that, an instantaneous economic recession.
People blasted George W. Bush for a news conference when he asked Americans to start buying again, but what they didn’t give him credit for was knowing how substantive this drop in economic activity was. Our economy was immediately in dire straits. He was trying to put people’s minds at ease on the terror threat, while simultaneously needing to get people economically moving again. That was the background for his speech when he said “the terrorists will not win”, he was not just talking about hunting them down and killing them, he was talking about they will not be allowed to destroy our economy.
Do you remember the $600 per person tax rebate check he quickly dispatched to every man, woman and child in our country. This was one of the measures he took to combat an economic downturn facilitated by the terror attacks on 9/11. He was trying to wake up our economy from the fear those Muslim Jihadists put us into. In addition he took steps to lower the tax rates, which are infamously now called the “Bush Tax Cuts”.
And he loved this country and our military.