March 19, 2003

Understanding Styles
The Europeans adored Bill Clinton. They abhore George Bush. Bush is the anti-Clinton in almost every measure, including diplomacy. Bill Clinton is a people-pleaser; he just wants to be loved. It's as if he doesn't feel God's love as powerfully as some and wants that human equivalent. As Shakespeare wrote:

My love is as a fever, longing still / For that which longer nurseth the disease, /Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill, /The uncertain sickly appetite to please.

Right and wrong can be negotiated; he cares (deeply) what others think of him. In that way the Europeans had some power over him - power they lack over Bush and it is infuriating since power lost is power desperately sought. Interestingly, St. Thomas once said something along the lines that those who care what others think about them are still far from the Kingdom spiritually-speaking. When Clinton wanted to help in Bosnia, the U.N. was not enthused and so he waited two years (while thousands died) and went the NATO route and gained that fig leaf. He did not want to urinate the U.N. off, or show up the leaders of Europe, and they liked him for it.

George W. Bush, more devout and purposeful, is less a people-pleaser and more focused simply on what he feels is right. Compromise on moral issues, therefore, is more difficult and he is less able to "fudge" just for someone's approval. He feels God's love fully and firmly and knows that millions are praying for him and he feeds off that knowledge, rather than the knowledge that he is approved of by the world community. By allowing God to be the main spring of his approval, he naturally lessens the power of foreign leaders. He is more likely to do the right thing and be unpopular for it (at least for a politician - a big caveat) than Clinton was. Bush is capable of compromise on lesser issues - like the education bill. But on war and peace he is firm as rock.

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