Thoughts on Operation Elect W
March 21, 2003

"Naturally the common people don't want war...but after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country."
-- Hermann Goering

W's 4-year appointment does not come with a guarantee of another term. This is what aggrieved his father a decade ago. Can you imagine the conversation then? A victorious war president denied re-election? The gall.

Possibly the only way W will be remembered as smarter than his father is in his sense of timing. He suffers not from the patrician burden of public service. He has no illusions that the public will reward his righteous service. It is up to him to make sure they benefit from his guidance for the longest possible time. This is what he calls leadership.

The problem is that he's not terribly bright. He's not even of average intelligence. Can you conceive of a smart leader surrounding himself with such obviously shark-like folks as "advisors"? He just doesn't appreciate that theirs is the only real agenda.

W is an earnest man. He wasn't always, we know, but walks the talk now. He genuinely doesn't understand why people don't like him. He's a lovable guy by nearly all first-person accounts. This is part of the problem. I think his comfort with his "axis of evil advisors" comes from believing no one would manipulate him so blatantly.

It is not true that most conservatives are stupid.
It is, however, true that most stupid people are conservative.
-- H. L. Mencken

This point is clear in his disdain for our intelligence.
Consider what he's asked us to believe:

Here's what I don't think.

I think W (and I increasingly think of him as a composite personality with Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove and Wolfowitz) has one over-riding goal: election in '04. That and a hefty slice of the $75 billion war largesse.

W is trying so hard to earn our respect and support. Trouble is, we send so many mixed signals...

Just what do we want?

More obvious (in hindsight) observations:

I explain things thus: Democrats have too much compassion. Republicans not enough. I know which end of that scale I belong on.

It makes me sad to think the only way I can feel connected to the people of my country is to share blame for our sorry state of affairs. But so be it.