“I have been gifted to write, sing and perform so if I didn’t do those things, it wouldn’t be right. I wouldn’t be responsible. I am excited about the gift God has given me to be able to express life in music in ways that listeners can relate to and, because of the music, can have their lives changed. Forward looking, my goals are to share the gospel with others outside of my race, outside of my city, outside of this nation in a way that has never been done before: by focusing on healthy/balanced living. I teach and share Luke 10:27, the greatest commandment.”
By any reasonably objective standard,
the presidency of George W. Bush has been an
abysmal failure. Having the occasional go at the
president is surely great sport, but the
underlying concern is both significant and
sobering: our nation is in serious trouble, the
severity of which we won’t even realize until
Mr. Bush is returned to his Crawford ranch. The
next president—Democrat or Republican—is going
to be stuck picking up the pieces of a fractured
society. We, as Christians, black white or
green, cannot and must not allow anyone to
blindfold us with our own faith—politicians
least of all. The religious right (supported by
many within the black church as well) has fueled
the Bush agenda with their unfaltering support,
undermining our democratic processes and
freedoms and causing pain, anguish, suffering
and death on an tragic and enormous scale—all in
the name of Jesus, our Prince of Peace.
No serious Christian can look him or herself in the mirror and think, soberly, that Jesus inspires, endorse or approves of President Bush, or that the president’s policies are in any way God-breathed or God-inspired. When all the rhetoric has ceased, when all the spin has stopped, when all the pageantry has quieted, we are left alone with our guilty conscience and bloody hands. Lemmings or, as Jesus put it, sheep led astray by our greedy and ridiculous religious “leaders” pushing insipid agendas about stem cell research an abortion—neither of which changed materially since Bush’s reelection; it was all lies designed to manipulate people anxious to be manipulated. This man may be the worst thing to happen to America ever. And Church Folk—not Christians, Church Folk—put him in office and kept him there. If you voted for George W. Bush, shame on you.
Rolling Stone Magazine wrote:
Bush came to office in 2001 pledging to govern as a “compassionate conservative,” more moderate on domestic policy than the dominant right wing of his party. The pledge proved hollow, as Bush tacked immediately to the hard right … no president has surpassed Bush in departing so thoroughly from his original campaign persona.
The heart of Bush's domestic policy has turned out to be nothing more than a series of massively regressive tax cuts — a return, with a vengeance, to the discredited Reagan-era supply-side faith that Bush's father once ridiculed as “voodoo economics.” The monster deficits, caused by increased federal spending combined with the reduction of revenue resulting from the tax cuts, have also placed Bush's administration in a historic class of its own with respect to government borrowing. Between 2001 and 2005 alone, the Bush White House borrowed $1.05 trillion, more than all of the previous presidencies combined. Having inherited the largest federal surplus in American history in 2001, he has turned it into the largest deficit ever — with an even higher deficit, $423 billion, forecast for fiscal year 2006.
George W. Bush is a man who causes the Dow Jones to tailspin every time he makes a major speech. Literally. I'm not kidding. Since taking office, when I wrote this essay, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 27% of its worth, investors losing $5 trillion (yes, with a “T”) in wealth. The unemployment rate has gone from 4.2% to 5.7%, and the nation's $281 billion surplus has become a $157 billion deficit. Editor's Note: these are 2002 figures. The stats are much worse now:
As of July 2003:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reports the unemployment rate is the highest in nine years.
The White House is projecting a $455 billion federal budget deficit this year because of slow economic growth, war costs and the effects of the President's huge tax cuts— cuts which benefit mainly the top one percentile of income earners.
The unemployment rate rose to 6.4 percent in June.
The number of unemployed persons increased by 360,000 in June to 9.4 million.
478,000 persons are considered discouraged workers who have given up looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.
Manufacturing cut 56,000 jobs, bringing total job cuts in the sector to 2.6 million in last two years.
The rise in the employment rate was greater than the 6.2% that had been predicted, surprising economists who had forecasted a lower increase.
In addition, the New York Times reported recently that this is the worst job market in twenty years. The economy has lost more than two million jobs since the most recent recession began in March 2001.
Not all of that can or should be laid at the feet of Bush, mind you, but a good deal of our economic malaise can be directly attributed to the president, a man who almost single-handedly plunged the country into recession with careless and, frankly, untrue statements during his Florida wrestling match with Al Gore (Bush, trying to position himself as the more deserving contestant, downplayed the Clinton market boom and created doubt about the economy that became a self-fulfilling prophecy once the Supremes awarded him the Oval Office. I mean, what was the man thinking? Of course, if the man who says, “We're in financial trouble,” is seated in the White House, the markets will respond, creating as fact Bush's jumbled, paranoid hyperbole).
No one wants to believe the president is an incompetent boob. Nobody really believed Gerald Ford was a stumblebum or Ronald Reagan was reading off cue cards, and Richard Nixon, despite cruel caricatures, was a great intellectual and great statesman. George W. Bush has yet to demonstrate any of those qualities. He lacks the fatherly reassurance of a Bill Clinton— as imperfect as Bubba was, I still find comfort in his rational exploration of the issues. Bush has yet to learn how to inform without panicking us. How to lead without bull-in-China-closet collateral damage.