Dr. Paul Kengor, noted biographer of Ronald Reagan, pens a fascinating article about George Bush's leadership, derived from his Christian faith, in mitigating the miseries of Africans. The fascinating thing about what Bush has done is how quiet the left has been about it. Much of Kengor's column recounts the history behind Bush's initiative in the course of which he writes this:
If a Democratic president had done what Bush has done for Africa, the New York Times would recommend a 100-foot bronze statue on the Mall. Instead, there is utter silence concerning this stunning, expensive act of human charity-one certainly beyond what American presidents would ever be expected to do. Liberal college professors and Hollywood types would be walking around with special little ribbons on their lapels representing the president's Africa initiative.
Then Kengor says:
George W. Bush, devout Christian, in the role of Good Samaritan, was doing what no leader of any country had ever done for Africa.
I wrote on this in an op-ed for the San Francisco Chronicle in September 2004. The opinion editor of the Chronicle was, like Bob Geldof, a fair liberal; he happily ran the piece, thinking it would enlighten his readership, especially the faith component-a bracing revelation to an angry left that insists Bush's "born-again faith" makes him a narrow-minded troglodyte.
What was the response? I received hateful e-mails telling me that not only was Bush - and myself as well - a "moron," but the entire Africa AIDS thing was a ruse, a sham, and the money wasn't even being spent. Bush was a "liar," and so was I. One e-mailer acted like a child with his hands over his ears screaming, "Liar, liar, pants on fire!" Facts made no difference whatsoever.
Likewise, there is denial or disinterest by liberals who dominate America culture and shape perception: Hollywood, academia, media. The left so detests this president that it will not give him credit for anything. He is a new kind of Frankenstein's monster: half Torquemada and half Boris Karloff.
I'm not surprised by the lack of credit Bush has received on this from the right. Conservatives don't like how this president spends money like a drunken sailor, and his action toward Africa is viewed as another such manifestation - a raft of do-gooder poppycock that isn't the job of the federal government.
The big story is why the left isn't thrilled, and then, beyond that, the deeper silence that refuses to acknowledge the link between this work of Bush benevolence and his Christian faith. For George W. Bush, this is simply a reward he will need to receive much later - much like the Good Samaritan.
The fact is that many on the left are not as fair-minded as Geldof or Bono. Their hatred for Bush is personal, not just political. The New York Times won't be erecting any monuments, but I'll bet a few go up in Africa someday, which is where it counts, anyway. I'll bet a few also go up in Afghanistan and Iraq as well. I wonder how many monuments there are in foreign countries to any other American president.RLC