American values a la G W Bush
Yesterday, when I suggested that Bush probably wouldn’t have much to say about the Gulf Coast, I was still hopeful. Maybe – just maybe – he would speak to the damaged souls and psyches of those who have lost everything.
Last night, I let my 9-year-old stay up an hour past bedtime, so she could hear the President of the United States speak to his people. Right up to the end, we waited – with ever-decreasing hope – for some sign that Bush understands and cares.
Throughout Bush’s speech, as he held forth about what makes America great - about a “hopeful nation” - we waited for him to take the opportunity to speak to the millions of citizens who have reached out already to residents of the Gulf Coast. I wanted him to at least say Thank You to cities and communities around the country - places like Houston and Atlanta and Baton Rouge -that showed the world the American spirit... so that he could help renew their commitment, energy, and spirit.
But he did none of this.
Instead, he missed what was likely his last chance to publicly reach out to Louisiana, Mississippi, and SE Texas.
Some of what he spoke about last night had real value. We must reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. The health care system is at terrible risk. Our education system is failing our children. But in a speech 51 minutes long, does it seem unreasonable to have hoped for more than two paragraphs - at the most general (and redundant) level - devoted to the greatest disaster in modern American history?
George Bush spoke again last night about values, but his words are empty. He invoked God, but overlooked that most basic tenet of the human spirit: caring for one another.
He believes we must be on the global stage, and lead the world… yet he sets no example. How can we – America – expect anyone to follow a country without a conscience?
Sometimes, I really hate it when I’m right.