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Â After President George W.Â Bush had been out of office a little over a year, and after the realization had settled in on the traditionalist mainstream of the American society just what we had gotten ourselves into by electing Barack Obama, some billboards began cropping up around the country with a picture of the congenial Bush smiling and waving, with the caption “Miss Me Yet?” Â Don’t know who was behind those signs, or what most people thought when they sawÂ them, but upon reflection, what seems to be what we are missing is decency and honor, and patriotism.
Â Â Â Â Recall the last two years of the Clinton administration and the promise Bush made when he assumed office – that he would restore decency to the office. He did that. Everyone knew what he was talking about. Yes it was Clinton’s personal pecadillos but it was more than that. It was a respect for the institutions of the Presidency and the American republican form of government and also for our military services, whom Clinton had famously once said he ‘loathed’.
Â Â Â Â Having thus made a promise to the American people, Bush proceeded to keep it. But being the compassionate conservative that he was, and mindful of the need to bind wounds and attempt to bring the nation together, he did not shun Clinton. In fact, he found creative ways to both appeal to Clinton’s vanity and to tap his talents for various causes, most notably in the joint ventures Bush had Clinton and Bush’s father engage in. There were other initiatives made which not only went toward a perceived need for the country, but also to keep the American fabric, sometimes made of different types of thread, together. One such initiative was the No Child Left Behind policy with the, at that time, ‘Lion of the Senate’, Ted Kennedy.
Â Â Â Â Of course September 11, 2001 changed focus in a lot of ways, and although there were other policy initiatives, it was obvious that placing the country on a semi-war footing in an asymmetrical situation that had been neglected for far too long, andÂ rooting out and destroying the terrorist cells and networks, was Job One for Bush.Â
Â Â Â Â At the same time, we remember all too well the media’s constant sniping at Bush, the Rathergate affair and the Big Oil/Cheney/Halliburton anti-establishment harangue that wouldn’t stop, and the well-chronicled fits of Bush Derangement Syndrome post Bush v. Gore for which there seemed no respite, evenÂ though the American public, on the whole, continued to see through the leftist Democrat ‘nuanced’ sophistry through 2004 and beyond.
Â Â Â Â Without going into all the minutiae involved in Barack H. Obama becoming the 44th president, we might just hereÂ assert that there was a lot of genuine anticipation of a benign and charitable and eager sort on the part of various constituencies to see this benchmark, this milepost, this heralded new day and perhaps new tone in the American polity succeed and result in nothing but blue skies, from now on, to borrow a phrase. Again, not going too deeply into an analysis of Barack Obama, we don’t have to be serious and studied biographers and commentarians to remark that he had, and has, many valuable qualities, attributes, personal histories and situational places in the political and social context that could have rendered him a truly transformational and uplifting figure. Had he been so emotionally and psychologically constructed and had different mentors, to name a few qualifiers, and yes, we’ll say it here as we have said it elsewhere, had he loved his country, he could have built upon the legacy of G.W. Bush, which, however unfinished, we now may consider as one of trying to bring the American people together, perhaps not necessarily on the first Tuesday of every other November, but at least at those times when we all come to the water’s edge and from sea to shining sea as we confront ‘this old world starting to get us down’.
Â Â Â Â Alas, it was not to be. Obama was not what many thought or hoped he would be. When the accounts are settled in later years, it will probably be acknowledged that even some of the obvious qualities and traits that many thought would serve him well were not what they seemed. It is genuinely too bad, so sad.
Â Â Â Â What is good, though, is the forgotten backstory of the American people, and why they went for Bush in the first instance and Obama in the next. It was because they were motivated out of a true sense of patriotism and decency and love for America. For us Constitutional Conservatives, us Unified Patriots, we knew we were getting that in Bush, even if he wasn’t the Scrooge in fiscal affairs we thought a former businessman and MBA from Yale ought to be. While not perfect, he was a decent man and we knew him and his family, and his story was an American story.
Â Â Â Â With Obama, it was, of course, a little different. There were some uncertainties in the center-to-centerright quarters. There were gaps in the story. But to the Democrats, and not a few independents, that boffo speech in 2004 was the kicker,Â apple pie as you can get and workin’ man blues, an instant hit.Â Â And it doesn’t have to be mentioned that a certain demographic was locked in from the start. Whatever doubts there were seemed best to be held in abeyance, because surely the man had a measure of gratitude in him and whatever left-of-center basis he had would be tempered by the necessity of ‘leading the nation’. Well, that was supposed to be the name of that tune. Â Things were not as they seemed.
Â Â Â Â The American people though, on the whole, are still The American People. Sure, there are differences between now and ‘the way we were raised’. Some have lost their way, some have ventured down meandering, off-beaten paths. The truth has sometimes taken a terrible beating. But Americans still want decency; they still want honor.Â TheyÂ have their self-interests in matters pecuniary and social and religious and aesthetic. But they have, althoughÂ far too many often find it difficult to express in mixed company,Â a realization that this thing we have here in the Western and Northern longitudes and latitudes is an awesome, wonderful thing, capable of much good for many. They want that. For themselves and their posterity, and, sure, they would like to buy the world a Coke too, if they have some spare funds.
Â Â Â Â That was their inner motivation in voting for George W. Bush. That was their inner motivation in voting for Barack H. Obama. And that will be their inner motivation in voting for the next President of the United States. And if he or she is properly vetted by the people and theÂ responsible vetting bodies, we will be led and inspired toÂ return to the pursuit of what’s good and decent and best for the country. That’s what the people want, and that’s what they shall have, God willing.