You know what I think was the most telling moment in the first Presidential debate; the shining moment that illuminated the candidates? President Bush taking the opportunity to compliment Senator Kerry. President Bush pointedly put aside differences, both personal and political, and found actions to admire in his fellow human being. Sincerity and genuineness saturated the President??¢â???¬â???¢s voice as well as his words. His words were so authentically spoken as to even take the Senator off guard, if his facial expression was anything to judge by. Senator Kerry paused in his statesmanlike pose to direct a surprised look at President Bush. The artlessness of George Bush was so evident that it disarmed his opponent.
Why was this such a defining moment? Because a person??¢â???¬â???¢s actions reveal his character.
So, what did this say about President Bush??¢â???¬â???¢s character? Only an upright, square-shooting man of integrity would be able to exhibit the strength and dignity of character to return kindness in the face of such weakness as exhibited by John Kerry. It is a weak man who returns insult for insult and lie for lie. But John Kerry stooped to an even lower level by delivering personal insults for a difference in ideologies and by leveraging vicious lies for truth. It is a strong man who continues to speak the truth in the face of fraud and ruthless deceit. When faced with the chance to injure and attack, President Bush chose to build bridges and offer constructive criticism. What courage it took to turn the other cheek. President Bush refused to tear down John Kerry in an effort to build himself up, and he refused to parody Senator Kerry and indulge in personal hostilities. Instead, President Bush chose to trust in the intelligence of the American public.
George W. Bush is hated by liberals because he sets a standard of character to which they cannot hope to attain. President Bush??¢â???¬â???¢s integrity forces the Left to see themselves as they really are–self-serving bullies attempting to validate their lack of honor by breaking the mirror that illuminates their vulnerabilities. It would be pathetic if they weren??¢â???¬â???¢t capable of hurting my children??¢â???¬â???¢s hope for the future.
During the debate, I fully expected Senator Kerry to return the honor that The President of the United States of America had bestowed upon him–to show admiration and respect for the man if not the ideologies. Instead I watched a lesser man flounder around for something to say, intuitively knowing that he had been shown up by goodness and kindness. How revealing. The best Mr. Kerry could come up with was to compliment the President on his wife, as if she were his accomplishment.
What?!? Mrs. Bush deserves respect in her own right, not because she is chattel to her husband. Americans witnessed again that the actions of the man were revealing the character of the man–Senator Kerry was unfamiliar with honor, or benevolence, or graciousness. He is a weak man who returned lies for truth, spouted insults in the face of considerateness, and offered artifice for naturalness. It is his nature. Senator Kerry diminishes each and every one of us. We need not stoop to tearing down to build ourselves up. Weakness unchecked breeds more weakness.
Why focus on this point? Because President Bush reminds us that we can be better than we are–that I can be better than I am. That I too can rise above weakness. That I can maintain dignity and honor in the face of injustice and persecution. That I am not alone in instilling kindness and uprightness in my children. That no terrorist can stand against truth and freedom and morality.
When I see President Bush and his sacrifice on my behalf, my courage grows stronger with every attempt to intimidate me. Integrity breeds character that withstands hate. President Bush reminded me that good is not swayed by evil, that good recognizes truth in even the worst of us, and that good is the warrior for the innocent.