Marvin Vangilder: Honor our No. 1 scapegoat

Marvin Vangilder

What would we do without scapegoats?

It is so convenient to have someone within easy reach who can take all the blame for every real or imagined malfunction, shortfall or wrong turn. This relieves the rest of us of any sense of guilt that otherwise might cause us to carry some of the load, some of the guilt, some of the shortcomings that have contributed to the problems at hand.

What would we do if we didn’t have a lame-duck president with no hope of any political future and no possibility of any power for self-defense in the future? George W. Bush is serving as the depository of all our discontent and the target of all our animosity. In this setting, it is easy to let him carry the burden while we relax in self-satisfied calm.

This is not the first time in American history that the nation has watched a president suffer the stings of criticism for every wrong and every perceived wrong inflicted upon the nation and its populace from without or within. And it likely will not be the last.

It is perhaps worth noting that for most of the chief executives caught in such a dilemma, history has been kind. After the passage of years, in most cases the truth, wisdom and effectiveness of the man on the hot seat of time has regained much of its luster. With it comes recognition as an effective leader and one who made important contributions toward fulfillment of the American dream.

I do not personally agree with all of Bush’s positions on all the great numbers of critical matters he has dealt with while serving at the center of the action, but I do see wisdom in many of his judgments.

No man hardly could be so overwhelmingly guilty of nothing but error of the level and number of those of his accusers' invention. Furthermore, he has done many good, wise, wholesome and constructive things that will prove with time to have been remarkably good.

So I rise to his defense and to declare the nation is in better condition than he found it. I count many remarkable achievements that long will be remembered as right, just and good while bearing the unavoidable Bush imprint.

Having worn the garments of the scapegoat myself, I extend to him my sympathy and my thanks for all the wise, productive and profitable experiences America and Americans have enjoyed under his leadership. The total is of awesome proportions.

He especially will be honored by history for his protection and advancement of sound American ideals and dedication to the essential ideal of universal liberty. A high degree of stubbornness, a typical trait of the American hero, has served him well in that regard and preserved for our posterity a legacy to be worn with pride and honor through the long years ahead.

Carthage Press