Monday, September 12, 2005

Presidential

When President Bush arrived in Louisiana the first time after the hurricane he was met at the airport by Mayor Nagin of New Orleans. Mayor Nagin (and many of the state and local government leaders in parts of Louisiana) had recently had a very public nervous breakdown about the situation in New Orleans. On several occasions in the space of a short interview the Mayor went from swearing to belligerence to exaggerating and to crying. He said a world of horrible things about the President and the federal government.

Given this background, I watched closely as the President got his bearings on the tarmac and worked his way over to the Mayor. I hoped somewhat (being the vindictive type that I am) that the President would give the mayor the cold shoulder or an icy stare and withhold his handshake. I was disappointed when he lightly patted the Mayor on the back, separated himself and the Mayor from the pack of other people on the tarmac and intimately and earnestly talked with the Mayor as they walked toward some waiting transport until the coverage stopped.

Today blogger Sensible Mom, brought to my attention an article by Mark Steyn in the Telegraph where Mark quoted two lines from a poem by Kipling as follows: “If you can keep your head when all about you/Are losing theirs and blaming it on you.” The poem entitled “If” goes on:
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools:…..
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

It takes a Man to be a great president. George Bush is a Man, he proves it time and time again. He is lied about and hated and he does not give way to hating. He is a Man and he is Presidential.

It is a quiet personal power he wields. He has shamed me (for my vindictive nature) for the better in the course of a photo op. With his silence and understanding in the face of others' rage he has shown these lesser persons for the children that they are.

2 comments:

Lorenzo said...

The essence of GW is astounding to those of us who observe his exceptional responses to adversity. When New Orleans is rebuilt, it will be the reslult of thoughtful and new-found leadership from within, leaders building up other leaders. The outside media-driven finger pointing and demeaning agenda will not result in anything worthy.

Sensible Mom said...

Excellent!