of Thank You, President Bush, an outstanding collection of essays |
Reviewer: Mark Lamendola,
This collection of 24 essays is loaded with facts, figures, analysis,
and history. Though this book came out before the 2004 election, I did
not read or review it until after that election.
This book is not an attack on liberals, it's not Bush marketing
material, it's not groveling Bush worship, it's not fluff, and it's not
hysterical. It's also not the product of the "mainstream
media," who are so out of touch with the rest of America that most
of us now tune them out (e.g., television viewership by males 18 to 24
is nearly zero and it's dropping for all other viewership groups as
Why should you read this book if you hate Bush? Because the reasons
(I have heard) for hating Bush are based on misinformation,
misunderstanding, and misquotations. They just don't hold up under
honest analysis. It doesn't matter to me if you hate Bush. It does
matter to me if you hate him based on false reasons. Now, your group
conformity (feel free to look that phrase up) may be at work and the
facts won't change your opinion. But, at least expose yourself to them.
For example, we heard from Ted Kennedy about the President's "reckless"
economic policies, in reference to Bush's aggressive tax cuts. Ted
Kennedy's own brother, JFK, implemented aggressive tax cuts. And the
result was a sustained economic boom (plus the Beatles moved to the
USA--yes!). Read the book, and you'll understand why this worked then,
why it worked under Reagan, and why it's working now. And so it goes
with topic after topic. If you are going to criticize Bush, at least
don't be as obtuse about it as Teddy Kennedy is. For him, of all people,
to say that is beyond absurd.
Why should you read this book if you are already a Bush supporter?
Because you need to be an informed Bush supporter. If you support Bush
because of group conformity, you are supporting him for the wrong
reasons. His accomplishments are amazing, and you should support him
because you understand what those accomplishments are and why they are
This book does have some bias. Several of the contributors may be
thought of as "right wing" folks. Their main characteristic
that Libertarians would object to is they want to ban abortion. But not
all of the contributors share this philosophy. The book takes viewpoints
from people of widely varying backgrounds and viewpoints. Some are very
academic, and will give you a solid analysis of economics, complete with
numbers and tables. Others talk about the President's character. Others
are foreign policy experts, and they talk about that. Keep in mind that
this is not a collection of propaganda from "Bushies." The
experts who support Bush do so for reasons they explain in their essays.
And, of course, you'd expect some bias in the heartwarming
introduction by Jeb Bush. That introduction, however, stays within the
constraints of what you might expect one brother to say about another.
Jeb Bush speaks as a brother, not as a person pretending to be an
While I have used the word "bias" to describe some of the
viewpoints, let me make it clear that I could not find one instance of
misrepresentation. Honesty is an over-riding characteristic of this
book. It presents viewpoints of experts, backed by verifiable facts and
figures rather than scare tactics and speculation. Granted, these
viewpoints are all from one side--there is not a "point -
counterpoint" tone to this book. With all the Bush-bashing books in
circulation, that just wasn't necessary. This book seeks to balance the
imbalance by providing "the other side" to the shrill--and
usually baseless--criticisms made by other books.
The book does a good job of staying out of the brainwashing business.
It's a collection of essays produced not for this book, but for other
purposes. The essays are merely assembled without any attempt to
"interpret them" to the reader. You can thus read the part
"between the ends" and draw your own conclusions.
The ends I speak of are the introduction and the concluding chapter
(plus the publisher's note). The author and publisher do make a point of
summing up the presented material saying what they think it all means.
You should read the essays and analysis in this book before saying
whether you agree or disagree.
Being torn between keeping this impressive book as a reference and
passing it along to others as a beacon of truth in our current haze of
disinformation, I've decided I'll have to buy a second copy. That's what
I hate about well-researched books--you can't get by with just one copy.