The Europeans' George W. Bush

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September 15, 2006

Sometimes people make you wonder. Like this morning, when I heard a woman calling in to a live radio show commenting that we shouldn't allow celebrities to say they support President Bush (like they would . . .). The 'fact' is he's just plain stupid and we cannot let anyone get away with supporting such a president, the woman explained. The talk show hosts agreed ' 'yes, we all know that.' It is just a matter of fact statement people often make, usually followed by the cryptic 'and we all know what it is he really wants.' (But I never heard exactly what it is he is supposed to really want; I guess that is just a 'fact.')

'Anyone who has seen the news knows this [that Bush is stupid] ' if you don't know, you simply haven't seen the obvious,' the woman replied. 'It's all over the news ' daily.' Again, the talk show hosts agreed. One of them even said, 'Yes, Bush is the worst president ever ' I hate him.'

These might not have been strange comments if I were driving down the Californian coast down, say, State Highway 1 from San Francisco to Monterey , listening to a Democrat radio station. We all know Democrat talk show hosts on Democrat radio and their listeners are anti-Bush, just as Rush Limbaugh is anti-Democrat. But I wasn't listening to a Democrat radio station. In fact, I wasn't even in the USA . I listened to a pan-European music radio network ' in Sweden . The talk show hosts were all Swedish, and so was the woman calling in.

Before we go on, let's set things straight. I'm no proponent of Bush. On the contrary, I don't like politicians at all ' and especially not those with power. And George W. Bush is the president of the only 21st Century Empire and thus a politician with enormous power. Conclusion: I don't like him. At all.

But this article isn't really about Bush, it's about the way Bush is portrayed in Europe ' and delusion politics. These people on the radio show I just mentioned aren't in any way special ' they're in fact very ordinary. All western Europeans 'know' everything there is to know about the US: that it is utterly capitalist and egotistical; that people suffer from the extensive free trade and industrial anti-environment policies of the White House; that the American people in general are gun-loving freaks who will kill anyone knocking on the door uninvited; that a few Americans are extremely rich while most people are extremely poor; that the 100% privately owned and operated health care industry would rather let people die than treat them without first getting paid; that there is no such thing as a public sector or welfare benefits in the US; and that the presidential elections in 2000 and 2004 were rigged (it is obvious that Bush cheated, anyway).

These are 'truths' in Europe . So the comments I heard on radio make sense, at least considering what people in general 'know.' Just like the woman calling in said, one has to know these facts about Bush if one has 'seen the news.'

This is exactly so. Watching the news, and believing what is on the news is the truth, one has to believe Bush has an IQ equal to, at best, that of a slightly below-overage salmon. This is the European perception of Americans in general ' narrow-minded, gun- and money-loving nuts ' and it is especially applicable on their President. And this is repeated daily on the news.

If Europeans had access to and changed to any of the American liberal media networks, I bet they would discover a whole new world. Even the most awfully biased liberal American news reporting would reveal a better Bush than any European news broadcast ever has. The difference, Europeans would claim, is of course due to 'obvious' pro-Bush bias in the American media; the problem couldn't be the unquestionable neutrality of European news reporting.

To any ordinary European viewer, or the very anti-American intelligentsia, an American liberal analysis of Bush would just 'prove' that Europe is superior to anything America has to offer. The less imbalanced portrayal of Bush 'clearly' shows the fact that the Great Conspiracy exists ' and how far it reaches. (I wouldn't recommend Europeans to watch Faux News . . .)

As a matter of fact, people in Europe were completely shocked when Bush was re-elected back in 2004. The reason? Everybody 'knew' Bush had catastrophically failed every undertaking and had not accomplished anything at all of value. The news reported nothing but failures and how people suffered from the 'imperialist capitalist agenda' of Bush's. Interviews with Americans were all anti-Bush. 'Bush will surely lose in 2004,' we were told on the news. 'He cheated in 2000 and failed in his presidency ' the American people have not forgotten,' the experts told us.

But Bush won the presidential election in 2004, and in fact increased the number of votes with more than eleven million, and took two states while losing only one (a net gain of eight electoral votes). The American people's support for Bush (using democratic newspeak) had in many ways increased. How would you explain this after four years of campaigning on Bush being nothing but a war-mongering, cheating idiot?

The 'experts' in the European media didn't even try. Instead, they resorted to a number of conspiracy theories and focused on talking about irregularities of the American not-so-democratic system rather than commenting on the facts. Compared to the great European systems, America is very undemocratic and that is the reason Bush was re-elected, is essentially what we were told.

I'm not saying I like the American system of state very much (I'm no fan of 'democratic' or any other kind of states), but I still cannot say the American system is necessarily worse than the European democratic systems. They all fail to do what they ideally and theoretically should, and they are all designed primarily to supply the power-hungry political class with the tools to control the populace.

Bush might be stupid, I really don't know. I've never met him, and I probably never will. And I won't learn anything about him through watching the news either ' I refuse to get indoctrinated by television. Actually, I'm not interested in Bush at all, and I especially don't care about his IQ. I know he is stupid enough to believe in politics, and he is evil enough to use it. That's all I need to know.

But that goes for all politicians, doesn't it? European too. The only difference between Europe and America, as far as I can tell, is that the states of Europe are all-encompassing socialist welfare states aspiring to be a centralized police state. America , on the other hand, is a centralized police state trying to become a socialist welfare utopia. This should be a much more urgent matter to take on than discussing how stupid Bush presumably is. But such a clear and present danger seems to escape all the people out there; they are focusing some distant, illusory problem instead.

What we're seeing is nothing but a large-scale unwillingness to realize what is really going on in the world. It is like blocking out the pain in your chest, using your last breaths to pass judgment on a television talk show host's terrible fashion sense. Or to get totally consumed with injustices going on in Nigeria while your neighbors are jailed by the Homeland Security Agency only for having a foreign name.

Or to take time to call a radio show to comment on a faraway foreign president's intelligence instead of making out the political madness at home. I wonder, just how ignorant can we get?

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Per Bylund's picture
Columns on STR: 63

Has a passion for justice.