Words. Single words, or small clusters numbering two or more, conveying information and signifying, in most cases, a communication between people. Words can convey raw data, operating instructions, educational information, descriptions or emotion.
Words can provide insight, oversight, instill courage, inspire confidence, reveal truths or bestow knowledge. Conversely, they can also obscure, demure, delay, digress, diffuse, dissemble, shock, shame or mislead.
Words can also convey honor or disgust. They can serve as a barrier to effective communication every bit as much as they can facilitate it; usually, social customs and political intent conspire to wield them one way or the other, or employ words for both purposes simultaneously.
Throughout our nation’s history, it is customary to see the nation’s President addressed using the honor-based “Mr. President” or entitled “President Such-n-such.” Custom has dictated that whoever held the office received the appropriate salutation.
It’s time to part with custom.
The legacy of the George W. Bush Administration will go down in history as the most corrupt Administration ever to darken the corridors of power in this nation. A steady stream of new scandals pile upon an already enormous pile of existing scandals, many bringing with them new evidence that the prior scandals were even worse than suspected. The election of 2000 should have been our first hint of what was to come. The deceptions that came to light indicating an intention to strike Iraq, the complete bugfuckery of mismanagement that has consumed our nation in the Iraq War and the failure to properly resolve the obscenely inadequate and mangled response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita should have, at least combined, sounded the death knell.
The scandals continue, and yet I find myself thinking of just one simple thing at this moment: George W. Bush, the man occupying the Office of the President, is not “Presidential” in the least. Neither are any of his staff, Administration or Cabinet. He doesn’t deserve to be called “Mr. President” or “President Bush.”
He probably doesn’t even deserve to be referred to as “George,” but there’s little we can do about that, inasmuch as it insults anyone named George starting with George Washington and ending with “George of the Jungle.”
The contested elections of both 2000 and 2004 each suffered from attempted manipulation, resulting in voter role purges and various forms of disenfranchisement and dubious counting practices. There’s a lot to suggest that if even a fraction of the votes “lost” by hook or crook were counted, George W. Bush would never have ascended to his throne.
Therefore, in light of the burgeoning number of scandals — all of which appear to tie directly back to George’s WH, and many of which suggest GW’s express complicity — I’ve come to a simple conclusion: George W. Bush is not our President.
But the title — specifically, the salutation — is another story.
I don’t believe the law of the land requires me to refer to this cretin as “Mr. President” or “President Bush.” Particularly, I believe that the custom of calling someone “Mr. President” is not deserved by this man.
I’ll call John Kerry “Mr. President” — call me a sap, but if the shenanigans of the GOP hadn’t obscured things so strongly, I believe we would have seen that he won in a decisive victory. In acquiescing as fast as he did, I was at first troubled. I was angry, I felt betrayed. But ultimately, I believe Kerry’s abdication was for the good of the nation; had he pushed, had he challenged, and had he won, the prospects for our nation to recover a majority from the Rubber Soul Republicans and to both address and resolve the mess of George W. would have been forever thwarted by the anti-American, self-serving and morally bereft hordes of the Republican Congressional majority.
In short, his concession was not an act of cowardice nor an unwillingness to fight; it was, ultimately, the most Presidential thing he could do in order to ensure that our nation, our people, had the opportunity to oppose this fanatical regime and their dream of a “Permanent Republican Majority.”
I will not, however, ever address George W. Bush as a President. Oh yes, I’ll call him “The Great Pretender,” who lives in a world all his own. I’ll refer to the members of the Republican party, and Joe Lieberman, as criminal accomplices too. At this point, faced with the overwhelmingly consistent evidence of intent to violate and undermine the Constitutional rights and freedoms of our citizenry as well as undermine the proper operation of the Government, any further support of the current Pretender or the policies spewed forth from his reign can be considered nothing else.
George W. Bush sits upon a faux throne wielding the power of the Presidency like an imperial staff, but he is neither Presidential nor Kingly.
He does not deserve the honor of the salutation that was customarily bestowed upon all previous Presidents when they occupied the office. And he will never deserve it.
Customs change, and while the three previous Presidents (Carter, Bush I, Clinton) are all occasionally referred to (incorrectly) as “Mr. President” even though their terms are complete, I strongly support continuing this tradition. And extending it to include those Presidents who were elected but never held office.
Most of all, however, I strongly urge people to drop the use of the term for the corrupting little criminal that currently occupies the White House and misuses his office with gusto.
“Mr. Bush” is not my President — but he certainly plays one on TV.
NOTE: Click images to go directly to their original source. I am not certain of the copyright status, and will update as I reconfirm.