Five things I like about George W. Bush. Now, I know what you're probably thinking. But the man is a human being, and there are really very few people who do not have plenty of redeeming qualities. And I must say, having decided to write this post, it didn't take me more than a couple of hours to come up with five things that I respect and admire about my country's First Citizen and Commander in Chief, President George W. Bush.
So here we are -- five things that I quite sincerely appreciate about the President.
1. The President does not appear to be a racist. At the outset of his first term, I was impressed with the love he was giving Mexico, the important and too often stupidly maligned country on our southern border. After the attacks of September 2001, I thought he displayed excellent leadership in discouraging and decrying "revenge" attacks against American Muslims and people who looked like they might be Muslims. When a company from Dubai was contracted to manage certain U.S. port operations, it was the Democrats fanning grotesque anti-Arab sentiment; the President took a relatively sane line.
2. The President is, frankly, a stud. I respect amateur athletes. An avid mountain biker and runner, Bush has remained in remarkably good shape throughout his presidency. He has not only run in marathons, but acquited himself quite well in them. His best time of about 3 hours, 45 minutes compares extremely favorably with this (much younger) blogger's best time of about 5 hours, 25 minutes. Bravo, Mr. Bush!
3. The President appointed Colin Powell as his first Secretary of State. It was a good choice. The presence of Mr. Powell in that position injected some diversity of style and opinion into the administration, and mitigated some courses of action that would have been worse if he wasn't around. It is a shame that he wasn't able to remain on the team.
4. The President's wife was courteous to my parents. When my mom was a guest at the White House a few years back -- she had been selected to create an ornament for the White House Christmas tree -- she and my dad were impressed with Laura Bush's presence and courtesy during their 20 second photo op. Someone being nice to my parents scores points with me, naturally.
5. The President takes lots of vacations. He should not be criticized for this. There is a story in the Sufi tradition of Islam about an arrogant king who summons a Murid, a kind of wandering holy man. The king asks this question: "What is more excellent than prayer?" The Murid looks about him at the king's luxury and the poverty of the common people, and replies: "More excellent than prayer, lord, is for you to sleep until mid-day, that for this time you will spare mankind your influence."
With this is mind, Michael5000 will be officially on vacation for a few days himself. But I'll be checking in.