Sometimes when I watch a speech, see an item on the news or read something on the web, an idea hits me and I feel “compelled” to blog on it.Â Other times, an idea steeps over time (as with my points on Bush’s mistakes).
And then there are times, when as a blogger, I write about something because my readers expect me to do just that.Â I doubt I would have watched the presidential debates last fall had I not felt obligated to y’all to comment on these exchanges.
Tonight, however, I watched the president’s Farewell Address not because I felt obligated to, but because I wanted to.Â I was curious to see how he would defend a tenure where he has had some remarkable successes and made some serious mistakes.
As our nation is about to inaugurate its first African-American president, it is interesting that two of the four men outgoing president singled out at the conclusion of his address are black.Â Â Another is Hispanic.
And Bush began his final speech as president by offering kind words for his successor: “Standing on the steps of the Capitol will be a man whose story reflects the enduring promise of our land.Â This is a moment of hope and pride for our whole Nation.”Â It is indeed a moment of pride for our nation which once allowed the enslavement — and later sanctioned the discrimination — of individuals of African heritage.Â Black slaves once built the White House.Â Now, a black man will live there.
The president focused on his record in keeping us safe.Â He cited the emerging democracies of Iraq and Afghanistan.Â While he acknowledges there can be “legitimate debate” about many of the decisions he made
. . . there can be little debate about the results.Â America has gone more than seven years without another terrorist attack on our soil.Â This is a tribute to those who toil night and day and night to keep us safe â€” law enforcement officers, intelligence analysts, homeland security and diplomatic personnel, and the men and women of the United States Armed Forces.
Note his grace in praising those who carried out his policies. He devoted a considerable amount of time to talking about the promise and meaning of America, contrasting our “guiding principles” with the ideology of our opponents in the current global struggle, our system “based on the conviction that freedom is the universal gift of Almighty God and that liberty and justice light the path to peace.”
Liberty, freedom. George W. Bush understands our founding ideal.
I will miss the moral clarity of his speeches on the War on Terror. Would it that he had delivered such addreses more often.