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Bush is now a motivational speaker

George W. Bush has started making the rounds as a motivational speaker and was given a warm welcome at a Texas event attended by around 15,000 people. He was speaking along with Colin Powell, Terry Bradshaw, and Rudy Giuliani among others. Bush was not the headliner of the event and only spoke for about thirty minutes. According to the article, he seemed relaxed and received a standing ovation.

From the article…

…[Chris Clarke, 25, a salesman from Dallas] said, it could turn out that Bush may be more suited to motivational speaking than being president. He said when Bush misspeaks, it sounds “incompetent if you are president. But here it can be inspiring. It makes him seem like a regular guy, no better than me.”

I can easily see that. The “Down Home” personality would play well to a casual audience that’s looking for motivation and fun stories. On the world stage as president… not so much.

However, here’s the part that I found disconcerting… though unsurprising. During his talk, he frequently mentioned his faith in God. Part of his talk…

“I don’t see how you can be president without relying on the Almighty. Now when I was 21, I wouldn’t have told you that, but at age 63, I can tell you that one of the most amazing surprises of the presidency was the fact that people’s prayers affected me. I can’t prove it to you. But I can tell you some days were great, some days not so great. But every day was joyous.” That, he attributed, to the prayers of others.

People’s prayers affected him. The fact that every day was joyous, he attributes to the prayers of others. In the words of Yoda, “That is why you fail.”

I’ll go out on a limb here and agree that, if you believe in prayer and you know someone is praying for you, it may help you psychologically, knowing that there are people who support you… in the same way you know people support you when they say “Good luck!” or “I love you!” or “Have a nice life!” (Okay… maybe not that last one). Perhaps that’s what Bush meant when he said that people’s prayers affected him… but I doubt it. His reference to the Almighty would indicate that he is talking about the spiritual, supernatural power of prayer.

I find it disturbing that any world leader (or local leader for that matter) would rely on the “Almighty.” It seems to me that a reliance on rational thinking, both his own and that of his advisers, would be a far more critical and useful reliance. Getting support from real people in the real world is not only more practical, it’s… well… real. If a president wants to rely on a supernatural being to give him warm fuzzies and reduce his stress level, that’s fine. If that same president wants to rely on supernatural beings to give him advice on policy and help with decision making, there’s a serious, serious problem.

I’m glad Bush has moved on to motivational speaking.

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