My Brief Affair with George W. Bush & My Political Observations – By S. Lord

By SANDRA LORD — Caribbean (read bio)

Caricature: (©) 2010 Lord Sisters. All Rights Reserved.

My sister, Allison, cringes everytime I publicly admit to having voted for G.W. Bush. Although I am quick to add that it was ONLY the second term (I voted for Gore first time around), it is something, which for obvious reasons, I am still not proud.

While my Republican friends embraced me like “E.T., the prodigal daughter,” who had at last ‘come home,’ my Democrat friends were aghast. After all, in their eyes, that was inconsistent with the person whom they knew – one who subscribed to the belief that government should play some role in alleviating poverty and social injustice, one who had herself created and supported community outreach programs for the less fortunate.

The thing is, as someone who comes from a different political system; who had no preconceived ideas about American politics; who got to take a good impartial look at the two major parties in this country, I must say I don’t consider myself Democrat nor Republican. As a naturalized American citizen I just vote for a candidate with whose platform I most identify.

But how does that explain my having voted for Schwartzenegger, another Republican, who has virtually terminated California’s economy? Argghhh! That’s another article in itself…back to Bush.

I voted for Bush partly because he was not wishy-washy. People who sit on the fence or swim with the tide just rub me the wrong way, like Kerry, whom I think is an honorable man, but vacillated too much. He swung more than a malfunctioning pendulum whenever polls showed he was unpopular as a result of his position on a particular issue. I got whiplash just trying to keep up.

Bush, on the other hand, seemed decisive and always went with his convictions – wrongly or rightly. He was arrogant, I agree, but he told you where he stood, whether you liked it or not.

After 9/11 we needed a strong national defense and I felt Bush would protect us. Also, Bush didn’t spout rhetoric specifically to get headlines (e.g., Sarah Palin, one of the most annoying media personalities featured in the March edition of this blog) or just to get the goat of a certain demographic to get into or remain in the White House. Unfortunately, however, that’s about all that Bush did well.

I need a man with more substance than that, especially a man who’s going to play such a major role in my life. So, our “relationship” was short-lived.

It’s no surprise that after having voted for both Democrats and Republicans over the years (voted for Bill Clinton both times and would’ve voted him in for a third term, if that were possible) and from my observations and personal interactions, I have come to certain conclusions about the political parties and their supporters.

Overall, the thing that annoys me the most about most Democrat candidates is that they tend to be spineless in terms of maintaining a clear-cut position on policy or controversial issues. Republicans have them beaten in that department. On the other hand, I find most Republicans uncaring about others with a “me-oriented” mentality, angry, arrogant and condescending. They consider themselves infallible. In that regard, Democrats have Republicans on the ropes of human kindness.

Frankly, I find it hard to have a conversation with most of my Republican friends, as I just don’t find that they generally care enough about others to give up anything – to take one for the team. If we all do better, the country does better. I do not think they have realized that. So, I actually prefer to engage Democrats who seem to be more tolerant of differing opinions and diverse people. They are just more fun to be around.

So, some of my Republican friends call me “liberal.” Yes, I have found Republicans LOVE to label and “name call” when you disagree with their viewpoints.

One idiot even said to me that one can’t be Democrat and be Christian. Where ignorance is bliss it’s folly to be wise. Let’s just say we don’t talk to each other anymore.

A good Republican friend of mine “explained” to me that a conservative’s wish is to have people engage in intelligent conversation – one that is driven by critical thinking, NOT emotional reactivity. But I have found that a conservative’s wish is to have people agree with them. No matter how much someone says, “I understand your position, but I don’t agree,” they just won’t let up, ten hours later.

OR they will pull out the terrible self-aggrandizing “ignorance” card calling you things like ‘stupid,’ ‘obviously uneducated,’ ‘lacking in substance’ (why do they feel a need to explain and teach everyone about everything?). Their false sense of superiority, just doesn’t sit well with me AT ALL. Funny thing is my conservative friends accuse Democrats of those very same bad practices and attitudes. Every day I live I am amazed at how much the “pot calls the kettle black.” Both groups think they’re right. Now that’s politics!

For me, conservatives fail to understand that, as human beings, we can be privy to the same information but come to different conclusions. That’s what makes this country so fascinating, a melting pot of ideas.

Anyway, what exactly does “liberal” mean? As someone who will not be labeled or pigeonholed, the term means absolutely nothing to me.

As Americans we all believe in free enterprise – the basis of our being the greatest democracy in the world. The things that I believe in cross party lines. I don’t believe in the welfare system that has traditionally fostered a multi-generational dependency on government aid, and has, among other things, effectively stymied personal and economic advancement for a huge segment of society.

I believe in teaching a man to fish so he can sustain himself and survive with dignity, but I also believe in giving a man a fish so he can eat today and for some time while he learns to fish. I don’t understand why helping your fellow man is ‘socialism.’ That’s a word that has been bandied about by many who don’t even seem to know the true meaning of the term.

A country’s greatest resource is its people. With inadequacies in the healthcare system, educational system and exclusionary practices from racism abounding, I question how effectively we’ll be able to compete on a global level in the future, for we have surely laid the foundation for generations of unhealthy, illiterate, yet self-righteous, arrogant people.

So, I am for the promotion of personal responsibility over welfare programs, but have enough empathy and caring for others to believe in pubic assistance wherever necessary, including universal healthcare.

My Republican friends don’t seem to agree with that, including some Republicans of the “minority” persuasion, as in ‘black.’

Actually, the black Republicans I have encountered are amusing in that I think most have benefited from the same social programs and situations, which the Republican platform seems to be against. None of the ones I’ve met or seen on television seem authentic in their opposition, and display a glaring agenda of having “something to prove.” I think if you described some black Republicans as “black” they would immediately counter with “I’m not black, I’m Republican.” Hehehe! I sense that to some, being a black Republican means that they have climbed the social strata or something and have ‘arrived.’

I am against big government, for stricter gun control, for a strong national defense, tempered by diplomacy, for higher taxation where necessary (including those for the rich), for affirmative action, for immigration reform, but not racial profiling under the guise of illegal immigration control. So what does that make me? Ah yes, liberal!

I don’t believe in abortion either, but I believe a woman has a right to make choices that are between her and God. (Somehow I don’t think conservatives are thinking of saving babies in the inner cities when they spout off about being pro-life.) It never ceases to amaze me how much most people think differently when a situation is in their own backyards – even with hypotheticals such as those that faced Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin on the issue of abortion. When it’s a situation that does not directly affect us it’s very easy to be adamant about enforcing the rules against other people.

Take for instance, the one obvious thing that both Democrat and Republican candidates have in common. No, it’s not the unwavering commitment to the interest of the American people. It’s the issue of marital infidelity. None seem to be able to keep their pants on around women who are not their wives and both sides have the sickening tendency to cast the first stones regarding extramarital affairs, while they themselves are guilty of the same transgressions. How many of Bill Clinton’s accusers have since been caught doing the ‘nasty’ with a mistress?? But that too, is a subject for another time.

For me, if we have the best interest of the country at heart, we may sketch different paths to get there, but we should achieve the same result. The national division perpetuated by Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement and other conservative groups rub me the wrong way. Divisiveness is about ego and power, with very little having to do with the interests of the American people.

I believe if we focused on holding our representatives accountable for the things they promised during their election campaigns, irrespective of their political affiliation, instead of resignedly shrugging and passively saying, “what do you expect, he’s a politician,” when they don’t deliver, we would fare much better. It’s amazing that we elect without much hope, expectation or insistence on accountability.

I don’t get the concept of presidential candidates trashing each other during the campaign showing the American people how inept the competitor is in order to get the nomination, then choose from the same “dirty” pool for their running mates, now extolling their virtues.

I don’t get the concept of pork spending either and why we let our elected officials hold one bill hostage to another. Why aren’t we more outraged at the ridiculous amount of time our state representatives waste on pointing fingers, posturing and playing politics?

At the end of the day, I find myself more generally aligned with the humanitarian sensibilities and social consciousness of the Democrats. I do not believe in being politically correct, so I will support and vote for whomever appears to authentically represent the best interests of the American people.

In the meantime, it would help if we all understood that we can’t deal with the world the way we WANT it to be, the only way we can effectuate any change is by dealing with things the way they ARE and work from there, not necessarily along party lines.

65 Responses to “My Brief Affair with George W. Bush & My Political Observations – By S. Lord”

  1. Colin says:

    can’t get over that you voted for Bush…and Schwartzneger? for someone who writes so well and seems to be so progressive what a disappointing revelation.

  2. Lakita in Indiana says:

    Sandra I really enjoy reading your articles on this blog. in my opinion You are the most interesting and your sister Allison is the most entertaining. Keep up the good work.

  3. expressyourself says:

    I can’t stand REpublicans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Shane says:

    Impartial? You beat down the Republicans and have Democrats smelling like a rose.

  5. Allan Fry says:

    FYI both parties are guilty of pork, not just the Republicans. BTW is it coincidente the donkey has the elephant on the ropes? Obviously you are pro Dems. Admit it Sandra, you’re one of the bleeding heart liberals.

  6. killertomato says:

    the articles are fun, but i really dig the caricatures. this one is hysterical. you guys have the best illustrations on the internet.

  7. scotty says:

    WOW! Your caricatures are to die for. Love All of them. On the other hand, I think you need to do more research on the Republican party, the Tea Party Movement. You’d be surprised. We could use someone with your fire and no holds barred on our platform. In fact you rag on Sarah Palin but methinks thou protest too much. You two ladies have a lot in common, not the least being your candor, big mouths (and I mean that in the nicest way), fearlessness and appeal. You said at the end of the day you find yourself more ‘generally aligned with the humanitarian sensibilities and social consciousness of the Democrats’ and that’s all well and good but Democrats are on a one-way street to nowhere and they’re taking the country down the toilet with them. Get different Republican friends and I guarantee you’ll appreciate the party even more. Hey, you voted for Bush and Ahhnold, so there’s hope yet.

  8. seaurchin says:

    If a man has been here for so long and still says Caleefornia that’s enough to warn you not to vote for him. :-). Great article. Enjoyed it although was surprised that you’re not Democrat.

  9. Richard S. says:

    I can see your viewpoint, and it was interesting to me to see it from a foreigners eyes. However I think you came down a bit hard on John Kerry. I voted for him and felt he would have made a mcuh better president than Bush. Now we’ve seen what Bush accomplished which is nothing and we’ll never know what would have happened with Kerry. Kerry was ambushed by his Republican detractors who were playing dirty pool and he spent too much time defending himself on all those allegations they came up with about his war record and that was a disservice to an honorable man. The country lost out.

  10. mattey says:

    You’re Democrat. Own it already. Or at least centrist since you said you embraced parts of both parties ideology.

  11. Silas says:

    clever title. clever play on words and well written.

  12. happy2bme says:

    Your sister Allison had a right to cringe when you voted for Bush. You were an idiot especially for a second term. WTF were you thinking? Come on!

  13. N. Meade says:

    Come November elections 2010 and let’s see who’s going to be on the ropes, as in out of office. Bleeding heart Democrats.

  14. Perennial says:

    you nailed it with the attitudes of republicans. very astute observations. i don’t even have republican friends anymore. way too much stress.

  15. Daniel says:

    It seems that you have met the same republicans I’ve met. LOL. How astute.

  16. Citizen says:

    You are right. We have the same old politicians recycled in Congress and the Senate in that they all promise everything and do nothing. Then we go back and reelect them and expect a miracle.

  17. Gates says:

    Democrats are the dumbest of the dumbest and I would hate to think you are Democrat.

  18. Donkey says:

    You cannot be that smart if you voted for Bush and not much smarter for publicly sayihg so. lol

  19. Kabil says:

    George W. Bush was a great President. His strength will come out in time and his legacy will be strong.

  20. Go Dems says:

    If at the end of the day you are “more generally aligned with the humanitarian sensibilities and social consciousness of the Democrats” then you are Democrat.

  21. Right Said Fred says:

    Congratulations on another great blog. I look forward to the articles you ladies post and I have not been disappointed so far. This was was particularly meaningful to me as I echo your sentiments with regard to the parties, politicians promises. You wrote my thoughts. Thank you.

  22. Blog Fan says:

    How will you vote come November 2010?

  23. Alaskan Moose says:

    Republicans do tend to be the selfish type. All about themselves. Now they have the perfect poster child, Sarah Palin. She ditched Alaska and is raking in the millions while her enamored followers have the wool pull over their eyes as they shell out money for her books. All in the name of being in a better position to do for the American people. What hogwash. And they say they’re the intelligent group? Gimme a break Nell Carter.

  24. Realist says:

    I have some black republican friends and I despise them because of their hoity toity attitude. They think they are better than everyone else but do not realize that they are being used as pawns and showpieces for the Republican party. That chairman Michael Steele is a JOKE!! NOBODY respects him. They thought they could have him as an answer to Obama but that dufus cannot hold a candle to Obama far less carry his shoes. LMAO at the thought.

  25. Nick Robertson says:

    Bill Clinton was a dork who didn’t even know the difference between having sex and having sex. Famous last words “I did not have sex with that woman” while the stain on the dress said otherwise. You would vote for that joker again? Pathetic.

  26. BUGSY says:

    I really love reading all of the posts on this blog. The caricatures add a special touch. Keep up the good work.

  27. Top Gun says:

    Great article but the caricature takes the cake! Congrats.

  28. TimesUp says:

    People were looking for lightening to strike twice with Schwartnzegger. The actor turned politician worked for Reagan so why wouldn’t it work for Arnold? After all Republicans are superior and can do anything. Right?

  29. No Problemo says:

    Bush was not wishy washy? you must be out of your mind. Just remember WMDs – weapons of mass destruction. To go furhter, his daddy was no better – RML – read my lips, no new taxes. Need I say more?

  30. Zuks says:

    I got whiplash trying to keep up with Kerry too and EVERY POLITICIAN in Washington. They are all the same honey.

  31. oilman says:

    Obama is not given any credit for all the terrorists he has captured in his short term in office. That’s something you should talk about. Bush and the Republicans just talked and talked and talked the big talk but they let Bin Laden slip away. All the republicans do is criticize Obama but he has done more in a short time than they have done for all the years they have been in the senate and congress. McCain is the worse.

  32. jackie says:

    Gore is a green dork.

  33. Lawrence C. says:

    I am a black Republican and I take offense at your categorization of black Republicans. I have worked hard to achieve my level of success. I do not believe in affirmative action and I am PROUD to say that I have not benefited from it nor any government assisted programs in any way. Your comments are the kind that misinform people about the true nature of the Republican party and those of us African Americans that see the merits of belonging to such a dynamic entity. We as black people need to stop looking for a handout from the white man and need to stop seeing the government as our provider. The Democrats seem to perpetuate this multigenerational dependency which has stymied our growth as a people. Maybe you have not personally met or seen any “authentic” black republicans on television because either you’re not looking hard enough or your preconceived ideas are blinding you because we are here and we are proud to not be politically correct.

  34. BP says:

    I like your observations about republicans, conservatives and democrats and I concur. I am curious about the political system in your country.

  35. Medic says:

    this is a onesided viewpoint in favor of dems just like your caricature.

  36. Blondette says:

    true dat black republicans are very uppity.

  37. lifestyle says:

    The good thing is Obama has inspired a lot of black or African American politicians to run for office. Only thing is most are running as republicans. Well, isn’t that special, with a BLACK president in office. Tell me what’s wrong with republicans again if your own people are now running ot the party in droves! Comment on that fact.

  38. MJK says:

    Great post! Excellent caricatures. Love it.

  39. John J. says:

    Traditionally, black republican candidates have not had much support from Party officials at the state level nor the national level. Black republican politicians will get a shocking surprise if they think their uphill battles to win in both the primaries and the general elections are over. Obama was and is special and they’ll find it’s business as usual when they try to take over white incumbents or new white blood. Obama opened the way, but being black and being against Obama doesn’t work wonders. Ask Michael Steele. :-)

  40. sugarcane says:

    Your sister Allison cringes, I cringe too.

  41. Curls says:

    Sandra, I agree with everything you said about the republicans – but for the demorcrats. These demorcrats are the most arrogant group of people ever and I don’t know how you find them ‘easier to engage.’ Unfortunately, I’ve never met the socalled charming ones that you’ve met.

  42. Patrice says:

    If you lean more to the liberals I salute you. I detest the republicans and their self righteous elitist attitudes. Thank you for being candid about your views.

  43. Emily N. says:

    Hi, I’m very interested in politics but I’m also having trouble deciding on the right party for me (Havent you heard this a million times?) anyway here is my problem, I am a new citizen that can vote and still do not know who to vote for in California. How can I find out more about what the politicians Meg Whitman and all the others truly stand for without making a mistake. I am very excited to vote.

  44. Yuck says:

    McCain and Snookie, now that’s desperate. LOL.

  45. Wendy K. says:

    We are the United States of America and there should not be so much division between the parties. The premise is that we ALL care about this country so why all the vitriol from party supporters? The anger and hatred is the worst its been in years and that’s scary. The tea party movement scares me when I hear all the garbage they promote and some democrats (and some republicans as well) in Washington make me tremble. What’s an American to do? We are too angry and a divided house will fall hard.

  46. change says:

    They’re all the same democrats and republicans so i don’t lose any sleep over any of them. Politicians are a special breed of scum and anyone wanting to lose relationships over ideology is just plain stupid.

  47. Sandra G says:

    Your decision to vote for Bush was yours and yours alone and you should not have to explain it to anybody. Most of America seemingly voted for him( maybe, maybe not…) and we are paying the price for it. Personally, I could never vote for somebody who has no idea how to pronounce the key words he has to read from a speech he neither wrote nor practiced. Also, he could never remember the names of the the other presidents or prime ministers he was meeting with. In my opinion he is an ass and strong hand or not he could never represent me or the U.S.
    On the other hand, all parties are a big sham for me. Republican, democrats, green, tea, whatever!!! Where are all the Al Gores and the environmentalists and everybody else that have claimed they could do a better job than the current administration or past administrations when they are needed? Our country is going through another Katrina which is called B.P right now. Where are our politicians when they have to protect our country and our safety? You guessed it right, nowhere.

  48. Monica S. says:

    what is your opinion on the current administration, specifically obama.

  49. hackeye says:

    I am democrat, but Obama is not doing a good job of handling the gulf oil situation. I expected more from him although I don’t know if the other party would do a better job.

  50. jennifer says:

    Joe Barton really mirrors the sickening politicking that goes on in Washington. Republicans and Democrats are playing a dangerous game of ego and fault finding at the expense of the American people. His apology to oil skank BP over the way he has been treated by President Obama is disgusting and makes me want to puke. Sandra, if you have not read it here’s what he said to BP ceo, Tony Hayward when Mr. Hayward appeared before the House Energy and Commerce Committee – “I’m ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday,” Mr. Barton said in his opening statement. “I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown — in this case a $20 billion shakedown.” Isn’t this unbelievable! Are republicans on the side of us Americans or protecting oil interests or are they just playing politics and blindly find fault with Obama no matter what?

  51. bhook says:

    Your sister Allison is smart she didn’t vote for Bush and his cronies. Shame on you.

  52. will74643 says:

    hey whats your myspace page or facebook.

  53. Cecilia M. says:

    sorry but at the end of the day bush will be recognized as a great fearless leader unlike the joker in the oval office right now.

  54. Montana Girl says:

    I admire your candor, fesity spirit and take no prisoners attitude Sandra. You and your sister rock. Please don’t change.

  55. blackberry cute says:

    I like neither the republicans or the democrats. They[‘r e all POLITICIANS aren’t they? This country is going to the dogs.

  56. Timothy Greene says:

    all in all i’m democrat but i’m disappointed in the leadership qualities of obama. despite his many accomplishments since in office he is coming off as weak leader and that is overshadowing the positives.

  57. Toothie says:

    Have you ever listened to any of the Fox cable stations? The self-righteousness of these republicans is enough to make you gag big time. And you’re right they don’t want to hear any dissenting viewpoint and pull out the ‘ignorance’ card when you don’t agree. Ugghhhh.

  58. Catnip says:

    I loved this article. It made me smile and I must admit I have the same exhausting experience with my republican friends. Thanks for being so candid.

  59. Minime says:

    Republican chairman Michael Steele and his stoopid statements exemplify what’s categorically wrong with those ignorant, finger pointing right wingers. Republicans make me sick! :-(

  60. Lobser says:

    When I read your other articles I can’t understand why someone so enlightened could have voted for Bush. I get that you like full disclosure and honesty yada yada yada, but you missed the boat on this one.

  61. Jaxx says:

    I am tired of this beloved country going to the dogs and both parties are guilty. I personally think we need a third party and not the Nader or Tea party jokers. Seriously.

  62. Hanina says:

    Very funny. I enjoyed the post especially the animation.

  63. Sigmund says:

    That idiot Michael Steele is a puppet by the republicans. Business as usual to divide and conquer and encourage black on black attacks.

  64. Carla says:

    I have no republican friends,praise God. My life is much easier. :-)

  65. S.S.S. says:

    You should have talked more about the tea party. These scumbags are the worst.

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