Tuesday, June 01, 2004

A peek at Dubya's worldview

(posted to my dkos diary)Here's a real find via the agonist. Check out this candid Dubya interview with the Christianity Today people.

No doubt feeling comfortable with the setting, Dubya reveals some fascinating things about how he sees the world and what his role is as president.
President George W. Bush, in a rare on-the-record session with religion editors and writers on Wednesday, said his job as president is to "change cultures."

In wide-ranging comments inside the Roosevelt Room, Bush spoke passionately about his resolve to establish a free Iraq, his desire to promote cultural change in the United States through his faith-based initiative, and his belief in the power of prayer. Appearing relaxed and self-assured, the President also reaffirmed his support for a Federal Marriage Amendment, urging the American people to become more involved.

Taking a firm line on the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, Bush said that while he was sorry for those who had been humiliated, and has said so publicly, "I never apologized to the Arab world."
Some quick points: 1. He makes it very clear that indeed, he did not apologize about the Abu Ghraib scandal. In fact, I think he sounds a bit boastful.

2. He comes to the presidency with a clear agenda: to change the culture through faith-based initiatives. Now I'm not adept at bushspeak to completely understand what he really means by that so I wish the editors had asked him to elaborate on the subject. I already know that behind all these words is an agenda and meaning that runs counter to my sensibilities. But I think it's vital to understand what he really means even though I vehemently disagree with the guy and his followers.

3. Again and again he emphasizes freedom. Yes, I cringe, too, when I hear he say that but I think there is something here. One day, I'd like someone to please tell us what he really means when he talks about freedom.

4. I thought his thoughts on drunks was interesting.
    Or I like to tell people, "If you're a drunk, sometimes a psychologist can talk you out of it, but generally it requires a higher power. If you change your heart, you change your behavior." And government must recognize that those heart changers are an important part of changing society one soul at a time.

5. Check out his response to this question the practice of Islam, democracy and freedom.
    I think what we're dealing with are people—extreme, radical people—who've got a deep desire to spread an ideology that is anti-women, anti-free thought, anti- art and science, you know, that couch their language in religious terms. But that doesn't make them religious people. I think they conveniently use religion to kill. The religion I know is not one that encourages killing. I think that they want to drive us out of parts of the world so they're better able to have a base from which to operate. I think it's very much more like an … "ism" than a group with territorial ambition.
Pure projection.

6. Language: he uses words that are code words in Christian fundamentalism. 'Armies of compassion' and then this depiction of FDR which really creeped me out.
    It's very interesting, I've got a brilliant guy who works for me and Mike Gerson—writes a lot of my speeches. And this person said, "You know the interesting thing about Franklin Roosevelt"—this is really in regards to the speech I'm going to give Saturday at the World War II memorial—"is that he was a president who, as his energy got drained from his body during his presidency, energy entered into the American body. This is a country that came out of Depression, was isolationist, refused to accept its responsible place in history, and rose up as a giant democracy. And Roosevelt's body went from strong to weak during that period. It's like he gave his soul for the process. … "
There's tons of other stuff here.
Snark all you want but I think there is value in deciphering the worldview of Dubya and his minions. This goes beyond criticism; it's about understanding to provide an advantage for us.