Faithful Bush

On November 2, 2004 George W. Bush was reelected President of the United States. The election garnered the highest turnout of voters in American history, and the largest proportion of the population in a generation. At his acceptance speech, Bush declared, “voters turned out in record numbers and delivered an historic victory.” Although the election was historically very close -- not an historic victory, the President is convinced he has a mandate to follow through with his agenda, both domestic and international.

The skillful use of effective religious language, the unquestionable strength of one man’s conviction, and the unwavering believe in a “neo-con” political philosophy have converged within the Bush White House. First, a campaign of straight language convinced half of the United States to support their “moral leader” with blind faith. The language of this campaign and the Republican Party has ramifications not only for the American electoral process and domestic politics, but also in how the United States carries out its foreign policy and how the world perceives the United States. Second, Bush’s words are not empty. The Republican Party has greatly relied upon wordsmiths such as Frank Luntz. However, “faith,” “morality,” and “clarity” are not just buzzwords for this President. He comes across as being very sincere about his faith. The extreme faith the president exhibits is strange for most of the world, but it is not in the heart of America where Bush maintains his “base.” Finally, the language and faith of President Bush converge with a new, “straight shooting” foreign policy. Although the foreign policy of the United States has not changed drastically under this president, the language framing it has, and that indeed has clear ramifications.

To understand not only what this President is saying, but also what he is implying with his language, it is important to look at his history, his faith, and how they have converged with the most dominant political philosophy in his administration, that of the neo-cons. In coming posts I will frame these ideas of language, faith, and his foreign policy.

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