As a writer, I am constantly searching for the right word to express what I want to say. For almost three years, Ive been looking for the right word to describe the Presidency of George W. Bush.
I should mention that any time I refer to something Bush has said or done, I am actually referring to the carefully orchestrated appearance of reality that we know as George W. Bush. This illusion is the product of an elite team of pollsters, propagandists, and media manipulators. There would be no George W. Bush, as we know him, without the people that make his decisions, write his speeches, teach him his sound bites, and point him toward the podium.
There are a lot of words that could be used to describe the Bush Presidency, but I wanted to find that one perfect word that best expresses its essence. This is how I found the right word.
Bushs most apparent personal characteristic is his ignorance. Will Rogers said, everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. The question iswhat is Bushs subject? I believe he was a history major in college, but he doesnt even seem to remember historic events that took place in his lifetimethus condemning us to repeat them. He has already involved us in another Viet Nam, and it looks like another Watergate is on the way. A question that is often asked, Is his ignorance feigned or real? Rumors are regularly leaked from the White House that Bush isnt as dumb as he seems, but I bet when the Congressional hearings start to investigate him, he will proudly plead ignorance.
Bush describes himself as a Christian. He fits the narrow definition of one who professes a belief in Jesus Christ, but if you extend the definition to include motives and behavior, you start running into some troubling questions: What kind of Christian authorizes the execution of a fellow Christian and mocks her pleas for mercy? Or exhibits delight just before he unleashes a rain of death and destruction down on innocent Iraqis? Who would Jesus torture?
It eventually became clear that sometimes there is just no word to describe a thingespecially something as complex as Bush. Even if there was a word that adequately described Bush today, it would soon be obsolete because he is continually adding to his repertoire of high crimes and misdemeanors. He is a liar, a hypocrite, a demagogue. He is the law. He is judge, jury and executioner. He is a spymaster and a torturer. He is Commander in Chief. He is the man who would be king, or dictator, or emperor.
There also appears to be some kind of mysterious, indefinable power that separates and protects Bush from reality. Otherwise: How can Bush fail to react to numerous warnings of attacks before 9/11, and then base his next campaign on the proposition that only he can keep America safe? How can a draft dodger make himself seem tougher than a war hero? How can someone, who has been wrong about absolutely everything in Iraq, continue to speak with an air of infallible certainty and expect to be believed without question? How can Bush talk about fiscal responsibility, while turning a record surplus into a record deficitborrowing two billion dollars every day, just to keep things running?
Reflecting on these contradictory events, I thought to myselfIts downright Orwellian. That is when the answer hit me. Here is a single word, Orwellian, which can represent life in the world of Big Brother"as described in George Orwells novel, 1984. And theres the word Machiavellian: a single word that describes the political principles and methods advocated by Niccolo Machiavelli, a Florentine Statesman, in 1517.
It was clear. The convergence of circumstances and conditions, brought about by George W. Bushs presidency can only be described by a word derived from the name of its creator. Following the form of the previous examples, the word would be Bushian; but I wanted something that sounded a little more modern, so I propose a new definition for the wordBush.
Bush (boosh) adj. 1. of or relating to George W. Bush. n. 1. a person elevated by money and powerful interests to a position far above his abilities. 2. an amoral, deceitful, self-righteous hypocrite: COMPASSIONATE CONSERVATIVE 3. an inarticulate nincompoop, who believes himself to be amusing. 4. a corrupt, scheming demagogue, ruling an Orwellian world using Machiavellian principles. v. 1. To screw up everythingcompletely. 2. to use the vast resources of the government to attack and malign those who oppose you.
Be sure to use it in a sentence today. (e.g., He is a real Bush.[or] Anybody that Bush ought to be in jail.)