shostakovich wrote:Hi Shap. Your admiration of fortitude seems not to be qualified by the direction it takes. Hitler had fortitude. Stalin had fortitude. Nero had fortitude.
I admire fortitude, 'tis true. I would point out that all of the people you mention are recognized as leaders, primarily because of their fortitude. All have admirable qualities, fortitude among them, though the evil they committed is generally considered to outweigh those qualities. In the case of President Bush, there is no supreme evil committed on his part. There is no holocaust, no purges, no burning of Rome (though many want to compare hurricane Katrina with the conflagration). There is a war. A war that appears to be won despite the claims of so many that it was hopeless, a quagmire, a lost cause. He was late turning it around, but turn it around he did. He showed fortitude when so many were showing their own lack of backbone.
I think, perhaps, that is one of the things that makes so many people hate him. I believe Albus Dumbledore said something in one of the Harry Potter books that "it is easier to forgive someone for being wrong than for being right". I don't know if J. K. Rowling is a philospher, or if she's merely paraphrasing a quote from someone else, but it is a valid statement. Thus it is with President Bush. Convinced that he lost the first election (he didn't), they could not forgive him when he won the recount, and then when the courts ruled (correctly) that Mr. Gore could not change the methodology used in counting in those counties that favoured him. Then, when he won the second election handily, their lack of forgiveness was increased. Surely, they thought, the second election would vindicate their belief that the people did not want him for a leader. They were wrong, he was right, and for that he cannot be forgiven.