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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President & Mrs. Laura Bush - A Class Act

Yesterday in Washington many people were celebrating. They stood in chilling weather to announce their excitement and hopes that one individual can make all their dreams and wishes come true. Of course, that's just a pipe dream. No one person can make everyone's dreams come true. That's the hype of many commentators and most of the people lining the inauguration route and the Washington Mall. They aren't terribly interested in what's good for the country - but rather what can this man do for me.

Many spinners in the news have complained that President Bush wasn't good at making speeches. They used that "sort of" flaw as a reason not to believe in what he was doing. The problem with that type of philosophy is that speeches won't get the work done. Most of the time speeches are just a lot of hot air that delegates the work to someone else. What I looked for in a good president is his resolve to honorable policies. In that regard, President Bush must be given a grade of 100%.

What the hype spinners missed is the class act that left the White House. That's the problem with bullies in the news service. They have been so cruel and insensitive to the real needs of this country that they created a situation in which true class and a job well done can't be seen. Like a smoke screen they created a mist that hid the success and focused on their own spin of lies. Let's take a few minutes to highlight and praise the valor and successes of President Bush and Laura Bush.

First of all, no one has any idea - especially reporters and liberal spoiled brats - of all the secret classified information only privy to the President. It is very possible that he was never allowed to share information that impacted his decisions. Have you ever had a friend who blasted away at your decisions but had no idea about the private challenges and problems you faced at home. I've had friends do that and it adds an unbelievable stress. It's hard to keep going when you know you have been judged unfairly. I think that's why President Bush has repeatedly said that history will judge him differently because they will be removed enough to objectively see his reasons.

In his Farewell address he said, "As the years passed, most Americans were able to return to life much as it had been before 9/11. But I never did. Every morning, I received a briefing on the threats to our nation. I vowed to do everything in my power to keep us safe." He went on to say, "There is legitimate debate about many of these decisions. But there can be little debate about the result. America has gone more than seven years without another terrorist attack on our soil."

For me...that has been the single most important issue. 9/11 terrified me. After listening to Brigitte Gabriel and reading her book - Because they Hate - it's evident that radical Islam will not stop until we are either dead or under their control. To know there was a dedicated man in the White House working hard to prevent another attack, was the only reason I slept at night.

President Bush's attempt to give the Christian world a way to help the secular world was also huge. The faith based initiative not only brought financial help to struggling charities but also gave them legitimacy. His commitment to marriage, the family, education and many other programs of moral direction assured me that he was on the side of Christians everywhere.

Yes, there were some decisions I didn't understand, but then....I didn't have all the information either. And since I wasn't reading the same classified papers he read - I had to look for other ways to judge him.

To me, the most important trait of any president is compassion for individuals. A president who only sees me as part of a large mass of people is never going to do what's right for me. President and Laura Bush can be described as "the individuals" president and first lady.

While the press made a big deal about the president not jumping and running after receiving the news that the towers were struck....I didn't see it that way. First of all, I'm sure that Laura had instructed him on how to behave - especially surrounded by all the secret service - while reading to a class of small children. I'm sure she told him to be careful because his entourage would be scary enough without him becoming bigger than life.

Look at his face....there's deep resolve and concern there. But once he turns his head, he's facing small children that would be scared if he cut and run. Instead, like Jesus being concerned for the tiny doves when he overturned the tables in the temple, Bush chose to be careful with those precious children. He continued to read and then left as soon as he could.

In the weeks that followed, Laura and President Bush were everywhere. Laura gave speeches of compassion and encouragement to parents and children. She gave tips on how to talk about it with your children. President Bush visited individuals and invited others to the White House. And for each of those individuals there was hug and a moment of connection with their president.
How we all rejoiced when he announced that we would not take this attack lying down. How we all appreciated his resolve to not only prevent another attack but clean out the criminal hide outs of other countries. He understood that if we don't take the fight to them - they will return the fight here. How comforting to have a president that is more concerned about my personal safety than he is about offending evil attackers.

The greatest test of his success in this area is the viewpoint of the Armed Services he commands. They were on the front lines. They not only knew the risks but they saw with their own eyes whether or not President Bush was right to send them into another country. I remember sitting beside a young soldier during a plane ride. He was home on leave from Iraq. We talked during most of that trip. I asked him if he thought President Bush was right to send him there.

"Of course he was. I've learned some of the language and can talk with local folks. They are so glad we are there and if they build a relationship with you, they will turn in other militants. I've personally witnessed bomb making equipment and other essential weapons that I'm not allowed to tell you about. All I can say is that if we aren't there, they will hit us again."

Have you ever talked to the media about this?

He laughed, "Talk to the media - what a joke! We hate the media. We avoid them if at all possible. We have to get a direct order to talk to them or we refuse."


"They edit everything we say to turn it around to their viewpoint."

Do you like President Bush?

He turned his head for a moment. When he turned back he had a tear in his eye. "I think he's the greatest president we've ever had. Not only would I follow him anywhere - I'd die for him."

The conversation drifted off from there. What more was there to say? Look at these pictures and see how much his soldiers loved him and how concerned he was for every individual soldier.

Do you remember this run with a soldier he met at one of the hospitals? All the soldier asked was that when he received his prosthesis that he could take a run with the President. What a goal to strive for. What a gracious president to take the time to highlight the achievements of this soldier.

How inspiring to wake up Thanksgiving morning and find out that our president flew all night to spend Thanksgiving with his troops. Did anyone in media really understand what a sacrifice this was for him and his family?

When he spoke to the group he had just served, he said "I will listen to military commanders not Washington officials when it comes to deciding when to withdraw troops. Bush received a "hoo rah" when he said he would not base his deployment decisions on "nervous reaction" by Washington politicians to poll results in the media.

I am grateful that Bush is a man of his word and is committed to his faith and his resolve to protect America. I have always felt safe knowing he was in the White House. I do not feel safe now.

Again he made another surprise visit to Iraq in 2007. Every time he's with the troops you can see the joy on their faces. President Bush was a president committed to his people. I remember how he talked with participants during the Olympics. He loved people and found hope and courage everywhere he went. And when there was despair, he did his best to encourage that person.
He continually invited people to the White House. I received an e-mail that unfortunately I didn't copy. It was so memorable I've never forgotten it. A man traveled with his community service group to Washington. They were granted a time to meet President Bush and shake his hand. They were all cautioned that time would be limited and to just let him pass down the line quickly.
This great man - pushed to limit with his time - graciously shook every one's hand. When he shook the hand of one gentleman he asked, "How are you today?"

"Okay, I guess." The president frowned at the response and asked what was wrong.

"My mom is in the hospital. I hope you will remember her in your prayers."

President Bush smiled and patted him on the back. He went down the line shaking every one's hand. Before they were dismissed he whispered to his secretary who asked this gentleman to follow the President into his office. There, President Bush asked for a number where he could call his mother. He not only talked with her, but he prayed with both of them.

How amazing for a busy President to care so much for the individuals he served. I still don't understand how Christians could abandon a man of faithful prayer.

Many in the press said that he had a flippant attitude or that he wasn't serious enough. I believe that President Bush simply found good in those around him and that he surrounded his life with prayer. That will make anyone feel positive and hopeful about our future.

His entire presidency was filled with disasters. And with each disaster he was there with compassion and direction. The press and obviously unmotivated people still want to yell about Katrina. But there again they don't have the facts. It was governmental law that prevented him from reacting until the Mayor and Governor of the affected states asked for help. Once they did ask, Bush was there.
As a child, I lived about four blocks from where this picture was taken. I will never forget the walk he took with these girls or the way he held them as they cried. He didn't have to do that. He could have simply shook their hands. Instead he administered comfort and a promise that he would help.

Google President Bush pictures during any of the tragedies we've faced and you will find him touching people. His strong arms wrapped around some distraught mother or giving a confused father a warm embrace. President Bush cared about our struggles. The one picture you won't find is him turning away from someone that needed him. He was generous in his compassion for other people's pain. When one woman gave him her son's fireman's badge, he promised to carry it with him everywhere. During one speech he pulled it from his pocket and displayed it for everyone to see.

President Bush and Laura were classy, compassionate and kind. They helped this nation pray our way through eight difficult and harsh years. I will never forget their love for all of us, their prayers and their devotion to a better America. I couldn't love them more if we were related.

In his farewell address President Bush said he was not going to have a pity party and ask, "Why me, Lord? Why did all these tragedies have to happen while I was president?" Instead, he said he was going to thank God for the opportunity to serve the American people. Now that's maturity and class.

For an incoming administration that called him every ugly name in the book, he made the transition not only smooth but cordial as well. He left Washington with dignity and grace.

I've written several letters and cards to President Bush during his administration and I've always received a response in return. While I'm sure it was not generated directly from him, I appreciate that his orders to his staff included a response to me. I will continue to let him know that I appreciate his service and his love for this country. As he gets some much needed time alone and much needed family support - I will continue to pray for him and thank God that I lived in the time of his administration.

God bless President and Laura Bush,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the read very much!! Pres Bush was accused of a lot of things that was not true.. He was a great Pres. as people will see as time goes on.. I am afraid f the terrosits again.. They are both very fine people..