Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Why we like Bush

Jeff Jacoby has a nice article about how the man who was inaugurated today is not the same man who was inaugerated four years ago. His vision of the world and his job have changed dramatically. What I like is Jacoby's wrap-up, where he points out how, despite these changes, Americans continue to like Bush, and then posits these three reasons why they do:

First, Americans trust Bush's judgment on the overriding issue of our time: the West's life-and-death struggle against Islamist fanaticism. Whatever he may have gotten wrong over the past four years, he got the core meaning of 9/11 right. In the war on terrorism, Bush has been most truly a leader — 61 percent of the public approves of the job he is doing, and 70 percent expect him to make even more progress in the years ahead. Second, the American mainstream likes Bush's moral bluntness. He has made a point of calling evil by its name: The terrorists are "evildoers," they are backed by an "axis of evil," this is a time for "the violent restraint of violent men." About the most important things, Bush speaks plainly and bravely. That is something that tens of millions of Americans, not all of them Republican or conservative, find reassuring. Finally, Bush is an optimist. He exudes confidence that tomorrow will be better than today. He shares Reagan's faith in America as a shining city on a hill and Bill Clinton's identification with the aspirations of ordinary Americans. Unlike the brooding weathervane he defeated in the election, Bush consistently points to a brighter, freer, more prosperous future. That is a valuable trait of leadership at any time. In a time of war it is priceless.