Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thoughts on President Bush's Farewell Address

Here's my favorite passage from President Bush's farewell address earlier this evening:

I've often spoken to you about good and evil, and this has made some uncomfortable. But good and evil are present in this world, and between the two of them there can be no compromise. Murdering the innocent to advance an ideology is wrong every time, everywhere. Freeing people from oppression and despair is eternally right. This nation must continue to speak out for justice and truth. We must always be willing to act in their defense - and to advance the cause of peace.

It is that sort of moral clarity that drew me to conservatism and, in particular, George W. Bush.

Of course, it can argued that Bush didn't govern conservatively on many matters up and to including the War on Terror.

The fundamental difference between conservatives and liberals, between Left and Right is the attitude toward America. Modern liberalism, with some honorable exceptions, tend to look at the United States as being in the wrong. It is not inclined to give America the benefit of the doubt. Their support for this country is a mile wide but an inch deep and they resent its success. Modern conservatism, with some dishonorable exceptions, tend to look at the United States as being in the right and that we have a responsibility to exercise that right. While not overlooking our shortcomings we continue to have faith in this country and want it to succeed. Conservatives give America the benefit of the doubt in good times and in bad times.

Given our present economic turmoil, the growing complacency over national security and the euphoria surrounding President-elect Obama, I believe that in President Bush many in this country will not know what we had until he is gone. But if that be the case then at least history and hindsight will have gone in some way to vindicate the courage of his convictions. The rest will depend on how Bush contributes to America and abroad after moving out of the White House. Check out my thoughts on a Bush post-Presidency in my latest article. (

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