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Missing in action: The post September 11 president has vanished

By Murray Soupcoff
web posted June 10, 2002

Has the bold post-9/11 President George W. Bush been spending a lot of time with magician David Copperfield lately? How else to explain why this strong and committed leader has vanished, only to be replaced by a wavering, wishy-washy replica?

George W. BushWhether it's over the question of identifying freedom's mortal enemies (e.g., Saddam Hussein) and steadfastly toppling them, or remaining true to the principles of free trade, or standing up to the America's self-loathing tree-hugger contingent on the question of global warming, the real George W. Bush appears to have gone AWOL, and a sinister clone resembling a certain other George Bush of the 1980's seems to have taken control.

Like the '80's George Bush, this new malfunctioning Bush clone doesn't seem to believe in anything but pleasing the media and special interest groups, and getting re-elected. And one suspects that if the FBI can't find the old bold Bush soon, the new clone Bush will duplicate the questionable claim to fame of the '80's Bush -- squandering unprecedented popular support earned by showing unwavering leadership in a time of crisis and then being soundly defeated in the next election because of all the dithering and pandering to special interests.

It's clear that what American voters are hungering for most in these trying times is a principled, focused leader with a moral vision for the nation. They yearn for someone who can define the important issues of the time in a clear and principled manner that reflects the eternal certainties and enduring vision of America's founding fathers. And they wait for that leader to show them the path to securing America's prosperity and future while remaining true to those eternal principles.

What they don't appear to want, or need, is another poll-obsessed leader who zig-zags all over the moral highway in a frenzied attempt to be all things to all voters and to the editorial boards of the New York Times and Washington Post. As the '80's Bush demonstrated, all that such a hollow, indecisive, toadying opportunist like that does is alienate the American heartland and encourage his liberal enemies (the moral equivalence, America-hating crowd) to attack him even more viciously because he is so weak and spineless.

Sadly, in the light of the mysterious disappearance of the old bold Bush, all that disillusioned Americans can do now is start posting "LOST! PRINCIPLED PRESIDENT! " signs around the D.C. area, and perhaps pressure the likes of Cheney and Rumsfeld to ramp up the search for the missing George W. Bush. After all, only these two committed members of the Bush administration possess the internal moral compass to allow them to find the missing Bush and restore the man to his proper leadership role.

Of course, power can be such a corrupting ambrosia. Let's hope those strong poll numbers of the last seven or eight months, and the misguided perception that further electoral success is imminent if only the liberal media and special interest groups can be won over, has not led to the disappearance of the bold, principled Bush who inspired America in the nation's most dire hours. Political M.I.A.'s who are overtaken by such an ambition-laden delusion are often difficult to find again.

Tragically, the last thing America needs right now is a repeat performance of that hollow, pandering pantywaist who was the 80's Bush. As Yogi Berra might put it, it seems to be deja vu all over again. But tragically, the current epoch is post-9/11, not the 1980's. And there is much more at stake these days -- tense terrorist times in which America can least afford the shenanigans of a weak, empty leader.

The only possible consequence of a repeat of the 80's Bush's naivete and foolishness is doom for America in its war on terror -- resulting in a future nightmare of suicide bombs and nuclear blackmail on American soil (the direct result of all that dithering and pandering intended to pacify the liberal establishment's America haters). And of course, the final consequence of such a path will be the end of the United States long reign as the world's pre-eminent economic and military superpower.

One can't help wonder if through the blank mental fog in which fate has shrouded his existence, Ronald Reagan can still make out what's transpiring in Washington. If so, then this aging beacon of Amerian freedom must be weeping.

Murray Soupcoff is the author of 'Canada 1984' and a former radio and television producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He also was Executive Editor of We Compute Magazine for several years, and is now the Managing Editor of the popular Canadian conservative Web site, Iconoclast.ca.

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