Why do I hate Bush so much?

First of all, this is my first thread, so if this is in the wrong place, or already started elsewhere, please forgive my naivete…

As an American living in England for the last 3 years, I am frequently asked ‘What do you think about George Bush?’

One thing to always keep in mind about people who don’t live in the United States is that they have no comprehension of the complexity of the system of government in the US. They don’t understand the checks and balances represented by the three branches of government, and don’t understand the subtleties of internally governing our divided nation. They don’t understand how the states work, or how they work in relation to the federal government. All they see is the President, whose true role is to act as the face of the country for the international audience. That is all they see – what George Bush and his Administration (most notably Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, and to a lesser degree John Ashcroft) say and do.

I hate this Administration. Aside from the basic fact that Bush was appointed to the office of President rather than honestly elected, that his brand of compassionate conservatism is neither, that his erosion of the barrier between church and state is simply fundamentalism of a slightly different flavor, the blatant war profiteering by his Vice President and many of his major campaign contributors, the erosion of the Bill of Rights under his watch and supported by his appointees, the personal embarrassment that I feel in that arguably the most powerful man in the world didn’t hold a passport until elected president (much less ever travelled outside of North America), and never forgetting that I think he’s a fool and a puppet for multiple big corporations, I feel he has managed to do what no other US President has ever managed to do to the same degree – truly answer the question of ‘Why do they hate us?’

After 9-11, the United States and George Bush were presented with a unique opportunity to do something, with the support of the entire developed world. Bush could have done what no other president ever had the opportunity to do –unite free people the world over to a common cause. He could have started us on the road to ensure we, and many others, could live a safer life without the spectre of Islamic fundamentalism seeping into our lives. All of which he promised to do, and all of which Bush had the nearly universal support of our allies to do, and all of which he has failed to do dramatically and repeatedly.

Instead, with his ‘With Us or Against Us’ and ‘Dead or Alive’ and WMD and Iraq and ‘Bring it On’ and ‘Axis of Evil’ and ‘Mission Accomplished’ he managed to alienate our allies, enrage our enemies, and push moderate Islam to the sidelines.

Bush gave strength to fundamentalist fanatics the world over, especially in Iran and Saudi Arabia (forget about Iraq for now – that’s a whole other quagmire). He gives the exhortations of the Mullahs and Imams about the Evil Americans weight, and in doing so has given them the political power to sideline the moderates in government and destroy any chance of a youthful society throwing off the yoke of fundamentalist theocracy (which was well on the way in Iran before the ‘Axis of Evil’ speech). The policies of his administration has, instead of ‘drained the swamp’ of terrorist-sponsoring nations in the Middle East, created one huge jungle in which they can thrive, train, and attack US forces on a nearly daily basis, inflicting casualties that mainstream US citizens rarely hear about anymore and never see, without any apparent capability on our part to stop such attacks. Bush has brought from darkest obscurity to worldwide fame the names of extremists, such as Muqtada al-Sadr, who truly wish to destroy America and are willing to kill hundreds if not thousands of their own countrymen to damage US interests, and made them into fundamentalist heroes due to their willingness to fight to protect holy Islamic sites from Western Crusaders.

Bush’s strategy of pre-emptive strike has dismayed our allies to the point that they have refused to support us without evidence. When we can’t provide evidence to the level required to actually satisfy the UN or NATO, we ridicule them and ignore them, calling them out of date or useless, and pursue our own agenda in violation of multiple treaties and in complete defiance of over 3 decades of public sentiment. We have taken our treasured ‘we won’t attack first’ doctrine, which weathered and won the cold war, and instead have replaced it with pre-emptive attacks on countries that ‘may’ have the ability ‘in future’ or who ‘were once actively pursuing weapons’ which ‘might someday’ harm the United States or our Allies.

We have disregarded the Geneva Convention (above and beyond circumventing our own Constitution, but that only applies to our citizens so I won’t really talk about that) in the treatment of POWs and the execution of our adventures in Iraq, Afghanistan, and throughout the rest of the world. We have used munitions (such as carpet bombing, cluster bombs, ‘non-napalm’ fire bombs, depleted uranium munitions, and land mines) and tactics (such as torture) that have caused international human rights organizations to heap scorn upon the US. (One US Marine general was quoted as saying ‘the grunts love napalm; it’s great for morale’ as an excuse for using it in Iraq.) We are holding people for years without trial, access to independent council, or even charges being filed, including US citizens and legal citizens of allied nations such as the UK. We didn’t treat the Nazis at Nuremburg this badly after 4 years of open warfare and documented cases of genocide. And guess who’s checking the Pentagon’s homework on if these people should continue to be held – that’s right, the Pentagon!

Bush’s state visit to the UK was a perfect example of how arrogant his Administration is. He was to visit Queen Elizabeth II and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, perhaps the number 2 and 3 terrorist targets in the world after Bush himself (OK, the Pope is somewhere in there, too). So you would think, with the UK police forces and intelligence agencies’ vast and lengthy experience in battling terrorists such as the Real IRA in their own country and worldwide and with a long track record in protecting both government ministers and the Royal Family, that the Secret Service would be satisfied with these local security service’s ability to defend the President on his visit. You would be wrong.

The Secret Service attempted to rebuild Buckingham Palace with armoured windows and machine-gun nests on the grounds (paid for by the UK taxpayer, of course, which the UK Government refused to do), insisted all Secret Service officers (especially snipers) have diplomatic immunity whilst in the line of duty (which the British Government flatly refused to grant), wanted to have Blackhawk helicopters (fully armed with miniguns and rockets and with a squad of ‘special forces’ aboard each) flying over the Palace during the whole of his visit (again, denied), as well as shutting down the London Underground, the sole means of transportation for some 1 million Londoners and the only semi-fast method of transport across this crowded and gridlocked major city, which would have cost the City of London some £1,000,000 per day in lost revenues (denied again, but only at the vehement insistence of the Mayor of London). The infamous free-speech zones were attempted here as well, which was totally laughed off by the Government and the Mayor of the London, and the route that Bush took from Heathrow into London to the Palace was lined with protestors (of course, he took a helicopter so he wouldn’t have to see any of it, but the traffic pile-ups in London were truly huge). The Secret Service caused over £200,000 worth of straight-up damage to the palace and the grounds in their 3 day visit (which still hasn’t been paid back to the Crown), and didn’t pay anything for the amount of income lost to London businesses due to arbitrary road closures and draconian security requirements of guarding the President (which some estimates hold at £600-700,000). In US terms, that’s nearly $2 million in damage and lost wages for 3 days of a state visit, none of which has been repaid by the Administration. For that would be to admit guilt, which is something Bush and his Administration are pathologically incapable of doing.

This is how this Administration treats our friends. This is our ally, which is supporting our efforts in Iraq with troops and money, which has stood by us for over 200 years and supported our policies internationally for most of that time.

Now think of the people we don’t like, who don’t support our policies. And think of the ham-fisted and thumb-fingered approach to realpolitik that this Administration seems to excel in. And now you know the answer – they hate us, if not before, now because of George W. Bush and his Administration.

Unless they read the SDMB…

As for the security arrangements in London, yeah, I recall reading that a delegation from the US was over studying Heathrow’s antiterror arrangements in early 2001… in early 2002 the FBI came over to make sure that UK security was doing it right. And you shoulda seen the precautions they took in Ireland during Bush’s visit.

I’m afraid to say I agree with most of what you say. However, I predict some lack of subltety to the responses you’ll get (as well as demands that you actually start a debate). These will be: “because Bush is a doodyhead. Vote Kerry!” and “because you’re a Democrat. Why should the opinions of foreigners affect policy. Why do you hate America?”

It’s good, in my opinion, for US citizens to view the US as it is seen overseas. It’s an uncomfortable experience for any nationality, but particularly for a superpower that’s having a) image problems, and b) foreign policy problems.

Devil’s advocating here: at the end of the day, that superpower can do what the hell it likes; why should it care how its leader is viewed?

Hi, JJimm, thanks for the response…

I think the answer to your devil’s advocate question is that we care because in spite of being able to militarily beat the hell out of anyone around without breaking into a sweat, to truly ‘win the peace’ we need allies and we need intelligence, and we aren’t exactly full with either…

But thanks for the reply. It’s nice to have one positive before the barrage of negatives I am sure I will be getting! :slight_smile:


The US is a massively right-wing country compared to the rest of the industrialised democratic world, Gomi - Bush is really just a manifestation of this. The causes and remedies of this are rather more intractable than laying everything at the feet of one administration.

Nevertheless, I also railed against the man himself when he visited the UK: read my Open Letter to the President.

I’d suggest you limit the debate to a specific objection, else Republicans here will simply dismiss this “as yet another Bush Bash” and ignore your reasoned critique.

Thanks for this tip; I will defintely do so in future. Like I said, first time out of the box!

Thanks for the gentle suggestion… :slight_smile:

All in all, Bush is just not lovable. He seems arrogant and patronizing. His father was much the same way.

We could imagine a charming FDR, Reagan or Clinton pulling the same things are Bush has done, but somehow it would seem more acceptable if they did it with a smile and a quip at a news conference.

(I say this without addressing the substance of his actions. I think the OP was aiming more at the emotional side of it.)

And yet people continue to claim that he is quite likeable in the flesh. That’s a trait of all con artists. Bush is a person of strictly average talents, or just below that. He has made his way by being from a rich family with rich friends who have smoothed the path. His patronizing smirk (which his handlers have managed to supress somehow) could easily come from his knowledge that he is secure for life because of the efforts of others, and you are not.

This is not a debate, I must admit - it’s a rant.

But what I would truly love is some honest, unemotional debate from a true conservative on how to make things better.

I know that Bush and Co have not done a good job, judging simply on results… my problem is that I am not confident I (or anyone other than maybe Superman) could have done any better.

So what is the solution? I don’t want to be yet another moaning liberal, whinging about what might have been. I really want to do what little I can to help find a solution.

Any thoughts?

My thoughts, GomiBoy, are that you should do everything in your power, including voting and contributing, to elect John Kerry. Even if you disagree with his domestic intentions, how can he possibly do the kind of harm that re-electing George W. Bush (and therefore ratifying his choices as our own in the eyes of the rest of the world) will do?

Bush’s damage has not been limited to foreign policy. He has been unbelievably effective in pushing his domestic agenda. Again, even if you disagree with Kerry’s beliefs, do you really think he’d have the same kind of power? Or that as a reasoned, thoughtful man, he’d be as likely to ram an extremist agenda down the throats of the people even if he could?

You said:

Well, I consider myself a liberal, I don’t moan, and I don’t know what “whinging” means. But the solution seems obvious to me: get the man out of office! And whether or not you like it, the only realistic means of doing that at this time is to support Kerry.

Well, first off the OPs “reasoned critique” contains so many misstatements of fact (as seen by half the populace) that we can’t answer his concerns without getting into an endless discussion of his “facts”. So this really is just another “Bush Bashing” thread. (And it should definitely be moved.)

Second, does everybody outside the country really hate this Administration? Really? Everybody?

This country is tremendously polarized. Half the country doesn’t think there’s much wrong with George Bush or his policies. They see Kerry as a nightmare.

Of course, this board has been shown to be about 86%/14% Leftist/Rightist so many of you guys don’t realize how extremist you are because you’re hanging around with other extremists.

You’ve made this claim a few times on this board. Can you define “massively” and “right wing” and offer some actual statistics to back it up?

You also miss the fact that the US reserves more autonomy to the individual states than you typically see in other industrial countires. Hence, you have same sex marriage allowed in MA, and yet only recently overturned anti-sodomy laws in Texas.

I think it’s true that the US is more conservative than most western nations. That’s kind of hard to quantify, however. Perhaps the furor that erupted over Janet Jackson’s breast exposure illustrates less sexual permissiveness than most places. Perhaps the existence and influence of the Bible Belt illustrates more conservatism. Perhaps just the presence of Bush in the White House or that Gingrich ever got to be speaker illustrates it.

Back to the OP, I thought it was very well written. Congratulations on an excellent presentation of your viewpoint. I wish I could write as well.

Not at all. GD is a place for debates AND witnessing. This is obviously the latter, and therefore should be allowed to remain. It will be fun to see this same kind of thread from guys like Milum (if he’s still about) when Kerry wins. Lots of comic value in these things.

Oh, and welcome to the OP also. He should fit right in here, as his views are pretty much in the majority on this board.

Well, I’ll certainly agree that the US is to the right of most of Europe. Don’t know if that makes us ‘massively rightwing’ or them ‘massively leftwing’ though. On what basis are you fixing a center SM? By who’s standards? And how is it meaningful to compare the US to Europe with reguards to where we fall on the political spectrum? We are what we are, and it works for us. They are what they are and it works for them. Peachy.

By the US’s spectrum Kerry falls to the left of our political center. God knows where Bush falls as he’s all over the place and I’ve never been able to really get a fix on what the hell he IS, but I’d say he falls to the right for the most part…and fairly far to the right on some issues, especially those of a quasi-religious nature. But comparing the US to Europe (or anywhere else) is comparing apples to oranges, as there is no common ground to fix a relative center. Also, as John Mace pointed out there is a pretty wide variety among the various states, running the full spectrum from left to right…a much wider variety than in most European countries.


Witnessing implies an effort to persuade. Religious declarations not intended for debate might be IMHO.

This being GD and all, you might start by telling us the facts he got wrong.

Didn’t notice the OP saying that. But, do you dispute that the perception of Shrub in the rest of the world is not exactly at rock star levels? Do you really need a cite for that?

Good OP. I thought it was going to be a rant, but it is way too reasoned for that.

Gomiboy how do people react when they find out your american ? Are they respectful about asking if you back or not Bush ?

(I hear many americans in America keep quiet about their distaste for Bush due to some people getting emotive about it)

Does Bush and US politics crop up during conversations much ?

I thought he WAS trying to persuade. i.e. He hates Bush (and so should we because…). Well, I’ll leave it to the mods…personally as long as it stays light and doesn’t get into a bunch of flaming here is as good a place as any IMO.


I think what he means is that its not 100% outside the US that hate Bush… and correctly so. In Latin America it goes probably from 75% to 90%, Middle East near 90%… Europe 75%… Asia 65%. So maybe they should have said “great majority” and not “everybody”.

The USA might be split in half and for various reasons… but the rest of the world is pretty much convinced that Bush isn’t a good deal.

Damn, jjimm, you took the words right out of my mouth!

Actually, one reason you (rightfully) hate Bush so much is that you are on the front lines. When I lived in Europe, I was constantly put in the position of defending, explaining and apologizing for any US actions. Whether you want to or not, living outside of the US turns you into a de-facto Ambassador and people ask you questions about the US that range from the profound to downright silly.

This does, however, lead to your own re-evaluation of all things USA. After a period of time, I saw Republicans and Democrats living abroad who became almost in total agreement on US policy, simply because they were able to stand back and see things in a more objective, worldly perspective. You don’t see the world as “us” versus “them damn furiners”.

If it is any comfort, you are not alone. I have lived through many a Presidential election and I don’t think I have ever seen one that is going to be this rabid - and we are not even into September yet. Wait up.

Naw, it’s pretty easy. We’ve got the death penalty. We do not have nationalized health care. Our drinking age is absurdly high. We make a big deal out of sex education. We still freak out about gay people and a female or non-white president is still pretty much unthinkable.