My mother told me when I was a little boy: good character could never be taken away by others, that only I alone could damage or destroy it. Mother was right of course. Mothers always are about such things as this. She should know. She was raised by a giant of a man -- all five foot six of him. Her mother died when she was nine leaving my uncle to raise her and five other brothers and sisters.
He was sixteen and it was 1935 so he quit school and worked odd jobs and promised his siblings he would never leave them until they were married or able to take care of themselves. He was so honest that if he discovered a clerk gave him too much change he would return to the store immediately. He was quiet and never boisterous or overly emotional and I never heard him utter a word of criticism about anyone in life.
He was highly respected in his church and community because they could see he was Lott’s one good man. If anyone had ever postulated that he had been involved with the events of 9-11 regardless of evidence it would have immediately been dismissed. Of course, had he been drafted to serve in the military he would have gone and he wouldn’t have sought any special treatment. If he had been trained as a pilot in the National Guard he would have saved his pilot’s status by taking the drug test.
It wouldn’t have bothered him as he didn’t take drugs or smoke or drink and he would have honored his obligation to the people who had invested so much time and trouble to teach him to fly. That’s the kind of guy he was, appreciative of the kindnesses done for him and he would have honored the commitments he had made. If he had been asked to work on a political campaign, he would have explained: I would like to but I have a prior commitment.
If he had gone into the oil business it is a certainty the Securities and Exchange Commission would have never heard his name. That’s the kind of guy he was. If he told you you owed him a dollar, you paid it as he would never taken advantage of a person or a situation. He wouldn’t have dumped his stock to save his own backside but he might have bought some of yours because that’s the kind of guy he was.
Had he run for president he never would have tolerated for one second any push polling about John McCain and would have fired on the spot anyone involved. Had he been in a contested election he would have told his followers to stand down and would have encouraged as many recounts as necessary to make sure the most accurate count was determined. He didn’t want anything that he didn’t earn honestly and fairly. To him, stealing was stealing, whether it was a dime, a dollar, or a vote made no difference.
Maybe 9-11 wouldn’t have happened had he been president. He didn’t play golf and would have felt strongly his responsibility to every American citizen. But if it had happened, he would have gone after the perpetrators for he had a temper, but his temper never overruled his logic or common sense. His concern for innocents would have extended to Afghanistan as well as ground zero. The men working at ground zero would have had respirators for he wouldn’t have taken any chances knowing personally the plight of orphans.
If the 9-11 Commission had called him to testify he would have gone and he would have testified publicly without attorneys or the Vice President in tow. Because that’s the kind of guy he was. He never had to worry about what he said because he always told the truth so it was the same every time.
When hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans he would have stripped the White House pantry bare if need be and stripped the linens off the beds. He took his obligation to his fellow man seriously as the owner of a small hotel. It bothered him when the ice machine didn’t work right. It weighed heavy on his mind that someone might have to do without ice for the evening. He would have moved heaven and earth for the city of New Orleans.
If someone in his administration had outted a CIA agent he would have fired them and anyone else involved point blank. He would have demanded action without waiting for an external investigation, and were they prosecuted and sentenced, they would have served time. Because that’s the kind of guy he was. If it were a friend of his he would have said, I’m sorry but I can’t over rule a judge and jury even for my friends.
The idea that he would ever be elected president is absurd, of course, because he wouldn’t promise anything he couldn’t deliver. He couldn’t just tell the shiny side of a dark issue or say what I meant to say was or what your definition of "is" is. That's why my mother told me, "If you’re ever in trouble and don’t know what to do, call your uncle. He would never steer you wrong." Even above her own husband and my father she felt so strongly.
We debate the issues of 9-11: the physics, the politics, the terrorists and the inconsistencies. The camps are set and their positions are setting up like concrete. They call each other names and present experts who all believe just as they do. They discount any information that runs counter to their own theories, yet they ignore the most damning evidence of all. Solid incontrovertible evidence and each orbit of the Earth emphasizes it more as it looms larger and larger yet goes totally ignored: The character of the president himself, or more to the point, the lack of it.