With all the pomp and pageantry to be expected of such an event, President George W. Bush was heralded into a second term last Thursday, commanding what he seems to think amounts to a resurrection of Richard Nixon’s ‘great silent majority.’ However, in this time of celebrating what Bush termed “the durable wisdom of our Constitution,” we urge the president to realize the great abyss of unrest the nation stands before.
“We are led by common sense to one conclusion,” Bush declared. “The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands.”
Unfortunately, the only palpable threat to the survival of liberty in our land seems to be Bush himself.
In the weeks following what was only a slim margin of victory for the president, he seemed to think his reelection was a sweeping vote of confidence in his abilities by the American people. “America has spoken,” Bush said in a speech shortly after John Kerry conceded defeat on Nov. 3.
What America said, however, is that we have a leader who is barely trusted by his constituents. Bush quickly became the first reelected president in American history whose approval rating fell below 50 percent before his inauguration.
This is a fact the president must face.
And he was faced with it on inauguration day as his motorcade wound slowly up Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capital back to the White House. Most of the crowds lining the street the afternoon were protestors.
And what did President Bush do?
Sheltered behind tinted, bulletproof Cadillac windows, escorted by the D.C. Metro Police and his Secret Service agents, the president smiled and waved.
Smiled and waved.
He is going to need to do far more than that to realize his lofty vision of freedom throughout the world.