Good Ol' Boy from Texas
George W. Bush is one of us. And, like most of us, he has a sense of humor. At times he gets really annoyed with the people around him, especially when they question his decisions. I don't like being questioned about what I've done. Do you? Sometimes Mr. Bush expresses his irritation in a quiet but effective way.
The trouble is that we don't like to think of the leaders of our world as being people like us. We like to think of them as being cut out of a different bolt of cloth. But they are fundamentally like the rest of us: not in complete control of themselves, not all wise, not able to see into the future. Leaders are like us, and they make mistakes. And, like us, when they make mistakes they have a lot of trouble owning up to the fact, even to themselves, much less to others. That's just the way that we are.
A couple of decades ago, I came to a frightening conclusion: doctors and political leaders are people pretty much like me. Most of them are not any smarter than me, and they're not necessarily better educated. It's just that their area of concentrated study is different from mine.
That's frightening because I want to think that my doctor is really brilliant, even infallible. I don't like to think that the person who is examining me probably isn't any smarter than I am and may be dumber . . . that the pills that are being prescribed may be the result of a drug company's rep wining and dining my doctor. That's frightening.
I don't like to think that John F. Kennedy, as he brooded over what to do during the Cuban Missile Crisis, was simply another guy like me . . . not necessarily any smarter. To be sure, he had access to lots of information that ordinary folk never see. But I've learned from my own incredible blunders that having access to good information is no guarantee to my making wise choices.
George W. Bush, with his upraised digit in this news clip . . .
has a digit on the nuclear trigger . . . maybe that same digit.
But he is one of us, like John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford . . . just ordinary folk with feelings and abilities not unlike ours. That's pretty scary.
My feelings of security rest somewhere else.