“The thing that’s important for me is to get home and look in that mirror and say, I did not compromise my principles. And I didn’t.” – ABC News Interview with Charlie Gibson 12/01/08
One begs to ask the question, what if your principles included raping and murdering young children? Or more realistically, invading a country using false intelligence and justifying the resulting deaths of over 4000 US soldiers and 90,000 Iraqi civilians as necessary in the defense of democracy and safety of American citizens.
Of course, principles sound like a wonderful concept and indeed everyone should strive to both have them and live by them. What is in question here though, is not whether President Bush has his own prescribed principles and abides by them but exactly what standard he uses to set them. If his one goal throughout the presidency was to live by his principles then well done because it appears he has done so successfully. We are now embroiled in war in Afghanistan and Iraq, have the USA PATRIOT Act impinging on civil liberties and perhaps the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression in 1929. This is not a list of achievements I would proudly hold up as my own.
Probably the thing that irks me most about Bush not compromising his principles is that he emphasised that they were his principles. As President, it is his duty to serve the American people and the principles they hold to be true. His statement really should have run more along the lines of “I did not compromise the principles of the American people.” But this is all unneccessary talk as we all know we are rid of him come January 20th. Still at least it appears he is acknowledging the fact that it was his principles that got us into the mess we’re all in now.