The Second Eclectic

Technology changes how we relate to God and each other

A Politician's Honesty

My dad directed my attention to this MSN article (that darn homepage does it again!) about Pres. Bush: a sort of behind-the-scenes, human interest piece on his interaction with families of soldiers killed in Iraq.

I'm sort of a sucker for human interest pieces I guess. And you know I'm not a big fan of the media's manipulation of reality, so to find something that shows Bush in a neutral, if not positive, light was surprising.

That said, overall, I was pleased with the journalistic integrity afforded Mr Bush by Newsweek's Holley Bailey and Evan Thomas; however, I could not help but bristle at this statement: 'More complicated is the question of whether Bush's suffering is essentially sympathetic, or whether he is agonizing over the war that he chose to start.'

This statement, tucked nicely into the middle of the article, seems to betray an acidic feeling for the war, hence also the President. They question the very essence of what they are reporting: that is, the President's purpose for emotion. 'Does he sympathize with these families' losses, or is he regretting that he called them to die for no reason?' is essentially the rhetorical question they pose.

So while they offer a nice piece about Bush's emotional connection to the soldier's family, they call into question whether it's genuine sympathy--truly heartbroken in affection by identifying with these sufferers. In other words, they flesh out and describe Bush's sympathetic interactions with these patriots, but question the nature of the emotion. They wonder, 'Is he a fraud?' questioning his own decisions? I think the President's resolve in this war provides the answer.

Some continue to question the integrity of this president; meanwhile, they shrug off a former President's personal activities and his blatant denial of them. Perhaps this is simply the curse of being a politician.

I do not, even as a Bush-supporter, agree with all that he's done. While I fundamentally support the war, I think the search for WMD's was in need of much more support evidence-wise than the it had. It has undermined Bush's credibility in turn. However, the cause of freedom should be a cause worth fighting for--and I'm sad to believe that such a cause would not have been cause enough to declare war in this country today. Yet, even Al-Qaida sees Iraq as a vital battlefront which they cannot afford to lose. (See my post, 'Agreeing with Al-Qaida')

In our efforts to discern a politician's honesty, we are always attempting discover the intentions of the man, his heart that is. I know only One who can accurately discern such things. In the meantime, we must settle for regarding a man's actions in our gauge of his integrity. And while Ms. Bailey and Mr. Thomas accurately observe his actions, they still question his sincerity based more, perhaps, on their ideological disagreements with Bush than on their clear observations of him.