One last thought: history alone will show the kind of leader President George W. Bush has been. For 8 years he lead this country, right or wrong, and he deserves our respect, which is being held from him by the very people who once believed enough in him to elect him twice. In the middle of media-influenced vitriol and spite towards the President, this tribute by former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer stands out as a testament to a leader who never backed down on something once he was convinced it was right. He begins:
I’ll miss President Bush’s moral clarity. The president’s critics hated his willingness to label things right or wrong, and the press used to bang me around for it, but history will show how right he was.
Shortly after 9/11, the president gave a speech in which he talked about the fight between good and evil, and that good would win. Afterward, I told him I thought he was being simplistic: “There are a lot of shades of gray in this war. I think it’s more nuanced.”
He looked at me and said, “If this isn’t good versus evil, what is?”
Then he reminded me that when Ronald Reagan went to Berlin, he called on Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall” — not to put a gate in it or to remove some bricks. Mr. Reagan said to tear it all down.
Mr. Bush saw the presidency as the place to call the American people to big challenges — in morally clear terms. As his spokesman, I knew that many people would be uncomfortable with how easily he made such moral judgments. I also knew that many Americans welcomed his tough, direct and unambiguous moral clarity.I’ll miss that direct talk. In the age of terrorism, the one thing we have to fear more than anything is moral relativism.
Read the rest here.