It is so chic to bemoan President Bush, even among conservatives, that I intend to remind the American people and particularly the most savage critics of President Bush that, whatever they think of him, the man has True Grit. This is not an endorsement of his policies (I believe that it was more important to end the evil regime in Iran than in Iraq) or his communication skills (which are sometimes adequate and sometimes dreadful.) This is rather an endorsement of George W. Bush, the man.
Consider how much he has had to slog through in his presidency. First, his election itself had to be decided by the Supreme Court after weeks of legal wrangling. Second, by the time he took office, the dot.com bust created by Clinton had destroyed literally trillions of dollars of wealth in the American economy. Third, Jim Jeffords deprived Republicans of a majority won in elections in the Senate within months of President Bush taking office. Fourth, a few months after he took office, America suffered the worst attack in its history. Fifth, he has been fighting a noble cause against the most vicious personal attacks since Lincoln fought the Civil War.
President Bush will leave office an old man. He will leave office as a man, perhaps, resented within his own political party. He may leave office as a complete failure, from the standpoint of history. At a personal level, it is hard to imagine anyone enduring as much as this president has endured over the last long six years.
And yet…President Bush will leave office as a recovering alcoholic who has not had a drink through all this Hell. Anyone who thinks that is easy is nuts. Surely there must have been ten thousand times when President Bush wanted to crawl into the bottle, like Teddy Kennedy has done and like Richard Nixon did and like so many politicians in Washington have done. Few men have had more good reasons to do so.
If he had fallen off the wagon, the sieve that is Washington would have leaked it in a nanosecond. The reality is that no one is even suggesting that President Bush has yielded to the seduction of drink, and he has been accused of doing everything else up to and including planning the World Trade Center.
Now, contrast this good and decent man with the slime of Hollywood and the mainstream Nazified media. How many movie stars have been in and out of rehab a dozen times? How many of the movie stars and singers and other celebrities who take cheap pot shots at President Bush have been so overwhelmed by their puerile problems that they get drunk on a regular basis?
These spoiled brats do not have one ten thousandth of the moral fiber that President Bush has. The pressure he lives with every day would have the self-important creeps of Leftist celebrity constantly intoxicated or drugged. They lack his guts. They lack his grit: his True Grit.
Whatever sort of president history judges President Bush to be, it will judge him a man whose profound religious faith allowed him to overcome during a time of ordeal one of the oldest and most insidious of vices. While Leftists squawk about “prevention” and “education” programs to help keep teenagers from abusing alcohol and drugs, maybe these pompous know-it-alls should look at the success story right before their eyes: a president who has faced more trials than the vast majority of young Americans and has done so staying clean and sober.
Maybe these pompous know-it-alls should ponder the consequences of insisting that God be removed from every symbol and segment of public life, and how that affects solving substance abuse problems (i.e. it increases the problems.) Maybe these pompous know-it-alls should wake up some morning, hung over, and begin a process doubtless alien to nearly all of them: perhaps they should pray. I know one man who does, and I see that it works. God gives us True Grit.
Bruce Walker has been a published author in print and in electronic media since 1990. He is a regular contributor to WebCommentary, Conservative Truth, American Daily, Enter Stage Right, Intellectual Conservative, NewsByUs and Men’s News Daily. His first book, Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie by Outskirts Press was published in January 2006.