I have warned in past columns that one day the Bush haters would regret what the constant undermining of leadership, in an effort to regain power, would ultimately produce. That day is upon us.
The endless drone of "Bush lied, people died" rhetoric over time has eroded the public's confidence in the presidency just like the constant flow of water over time can cut through solid granite.
Relentless accusations of leadership employing direct and intentional lies, about everything from weapons of mass destruction to hurricanes, have left an indelible mark in the minds of many Americans and will not soon be erased.
While I could go over the issues and provide interesting facts that many have chosen to ignore, why should I? It will do no good in changing the mind of the left in this county. A simple Google search of "550 tons of yellow cake" would illustrate why multiple intelligence agencies were concerned. But why go to the trouble?
The left has told the lie so many times and so often, it has become its truth. What concerns me more is that many on the right believe the same lie. The same conjecture, not fact, has caused a total loss of confidence in current leadership.
So it is no wonder to me that when our leaders recently pleaded with America about the current crisis and the urgent need to pass legislation to "save" us from economic Armageddon, it went in one ear and out the other.
Faced with the potential loss of jobs, 401K values, home equity and their very way of life, Americans yawned and ignored everything the president, Congress, the speaker of the House, the Federal Reserve chairman and the secretary of the Treasury had to say.
What if those warnings were really the end of the world? What if our immediate attention and support was necessary to save the world? Nobody would have believed them, and that is a huge problem. And equally important: What if a real crisis does arrive – like a nuclear attack?
It's the proverbial "boy who cried wolf," and it's a very bad position for us to be in.
So thanks to the Bush haters on the left and their obsessive, militant rebellion against any authority, we are now a nation with zero confidence in anything. And that won't change under Obama or McCain. Both have way too many unanswered questions about their past – especially Obama. It will leave both open for relentless undermining from the other side, and that is terrible for the nation.
What will it take to restore trust in our leadership? Bush's lack of leadership in the current financial crisis has worsened the problem. Terms like "meltdown" and "collapse" coming from the leader of the free world do little to calm fears. He should have instead spoken of our greatness and our ability to persevere regardless of the trouble we faced.
What will it take to bring back a sense of trust in our future leaders? Should we elect officials who are wire to polygraphs administered by the staff of Jerry Springer? Apparently the American people believe those results when aired on national TV.
Or maybe we could have all our leaders periodically interviewed by the harbingers of truth – Oprah, Katie, O'Reilly and Brokaw. And we cannot leave out Leno and Letterman now, can we? They both know the difference between truth and deception when they see it, right?
I am not sure what will restore trust given we live in a 24/7 media-drenched circus, but one thing is for sure: Leaders will never be able to lead effectively given the constant lust for undermining of authority that now pervades our land. Trying to trip up our leaders has become a sport. "Gotcha" politics is the name of the game. And whoever can get it on TV, the Internet or in the paper first wins a Pulitzer or Emmy for journalism.
When will we judge the actions of leaders and not their motives as true tests of honesty? It is impossible, and even arrogant, for any human to believe he or she can identify the motive of another. That is, unless they are God – something apparently many on the left have become to believe in their own little worlds.
The level of cynicism is unbearable as people attempt to judge motive. Did Harry Truman want to kill a bunch of innocent Japanese, or was he trying to stop further death and destruction? Some think they knew at the time.
As for me, call me naïve if you must, I want to believe the best of my leaders and their motives. I want to think that in their hearts they believe they are doing what is best for the country and its people – that is, unless they prove otherwise. I am not foolish enough to believe our leaders do not possess the skill or ability to lie and deceive us. But have we grown so cynical that we never assume the best, only the worst.
Without a stain on a dress, an audio tape, a video or documentation of the allegations, wouldn't we be better served to believe the best in our leaders versus the worst? What happened to innocent until proven guilty?
I know many will read this and say it's un-American not to question our leaders and speak truth to power. But, frankly, some of the loudest mouths wouldn't know truth if it hit them between the eyes. They only want to tear down and undermine, not improve. They want to destroy the opponent they see standing in the way of their political agenda.
No matter how many times Cindy Sheehan says Bush killed her son, it doesn't make it so. Terrorists killed Casey. Harry Reid can say we lost the war as many times as he wants, but I have dozens of e-mails from soldiers that prove otherwise. Obama can say our troops air raid villages and kill civilians, but there is zero evidence to support such a claim. Does any true American believe our troops are "terrorizing women and children in the dead of night," as John Kerry asserts? He does it just to undermine our troops while saying it is his form of support. Crazy!
The left has chosen to hate George Bush. Frankly, I am very disappointed with his lack of leadership. But after seven years of constant attacks, it does not surprise me that he has been reduced to a Saturday Night Live skit by the left. I hope they are happy. Hate blinds the haters because it is based on fear. Fear can only produce a negative result when embraced and acted upon.
This current financial crisis doesn't need government programs or cash injections. It needs a huge dose of confidence. Our whole financial system is based on confidence and without it, we fail. When banks don't trust banks to lend, the system freezes. The one person who can instill that confidence is the president. But after eight straight years of attack, he can offer little – thanks to the left.
So for the benefit of future, I hope both sides of our nation realize how important it is to have leaders we can trust. No one is perfect. We all have weaknesses. I can only hope the American people can see through the media taint when looking for future leaders. Without trust, they will fail to lead. They will play to cameras hoping to be popular, which is not a trait of a good leader.
The leader who makes hard decisions and says the unpopular things is most effective – the one who says what we all know: There is no free lunch, government is not the answer to all our problems and war is sometimes necessary, and always ugly, but there are some things worth fighting for.
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