At least Bush has a good poker face

David Soler

Limp Bizkit has a song about how tough it is to be bad. Someone should write a song about how tough it is to be the president of the U.S. of A.

First, despite the heavy criticism that shells him on a daily basis, President George W. Bush doesn’t let an inch of that perspiration come through. He is the epitome of sang froid – he’s a world-class poker player. If you or I could know just a sentence of the high-stakes issues he has to deal with, I’m sure we would need a full-time diaper attached at all times.

One of the things that amazes me more is the sickness issue. President Bush never seems to get sick. Does he get colds with fever? I’m sure he might, but he keeps going at full throttle as if nothing would happen. Can you do that? Could you work at full potency without letting others know you’re exhausted? He does, because after all, the president is the country’s mirror, and a sick president leaks the image of a sick country.

And do you think his family life is perfect? I’m sure it is not. But as a top-notched professional, he outstandingly stonewalls any domestic problem he might have and doesn’t let it affect his work. Otherwise, imagine him delivering a speech and leaking some grumpy family-related remark or canceling a year-long planned visit of India’s president because Spot the dog died?

OK, then he’s a fake.

But of course he is, because there is no other choice. Let me first, though, polish that remark: He’s not exactly a fake, he is an actor. The only difference with Hollywood is that his movie is called real life. Don’t dare to blame him for that. Any president of the United States has no choice but to be one of them. If the President of the United States would be like you or me, then his emotions could blur the purpose of an entire country. This cannot happen. If he let them affect his agenda, you would blame him for being a sort of medieval king and not what you subconsciously expect him to be.

Next, his leadership might seem like Krusty the Clown meets the Oval Office. But it’s a media-induced mirage. Do you think President Bush was the most appreciated world leader in 2006? Of course not! I’m sure somebody else had that privilege.

And do you think having that honor is good? No. It is actually bad, because this means that that leader takes few critical decisions.

Think about it.

With your actions, you can’t please everybody. In any case, the level of public insatisfaction increases proportionally with the number of decisions taken. And in the decision-making ranking, Bush is unbeatable. Be proud of him!

He is probably the leader that has to take more decisions that the entire world’s leaders combined. Then, what do you expect in return but criticism, criticism and criticism?

Finally, Bush is also accused of turning a blind eye on public opinion. But there is a Catch-22 on that issue, too. If Bush, let’s say, goes and listens to some public poll one morning and modifies his agenda that afternoon accordingly – ra-ta-ta-ta-ta!!! Then he’ll be massively labeled as a mere opportunist, maybe some NYT columnist will even label him as the people’s puppet. In contrast, if he chooses to follow his instincts and his own vision – after all, that what he was elected for – then people just keep complaining they’ve elected an obstinate fool who doesn’t leave the Titanic.

We should think about these issues from time to time and appreciate the great leader who serves all of us in spite of what’s raining.

David Soler is a biomedical sciences graduate student and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].