Sunday, July 22, 2007

What if Bush Had Been More Like Dumbledore?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has run though our family. Katy finished last night, me this morning, and Mrs. RSI is finishing up herself now.

Exhaustion reigns.

Oddly though, my deepest emotion is that I need to finish my own book. J. K. Rowling may have her limitations as a writer (who doesn't?), but I've always admired her greatly for writing The Order of the Phoenix, The Half-Blood Prince, and Deathly Hallows at all. As a wealthy and famous woman, Rowling had the celebrity version of academic tenure. She could have rested on her laurels for the rest of her life, but she kept writing and kept improving.

That's what I want to do as well.

Without giving too much away, it struck me that the U. S. would be much better off as a country if George Bush had followed the path of Albus Dumbledore. A great and good person in his own way, Dumbledore also recognized that he was not the kind of man who should hold great power. In his own words, Dumbledore was "unworthy." (720) That's why Dumbledore turned down several opportunities to become Minister of Magic. He knew that such power would tempt him to act recklessly and foolishly, to bring about his own destruction and that of many others.

What would have happened if George Bush had had a similar moment of self-reflection when Republican recruiters came calling upon him to run for President? What if Bush had realized that he had qualities that made him unworthy to hold enormous power? Bush has many disqualifying personal characteristics, any list of which would include his longstanding failure to exercise responsibility in his own life, lack of curiosity, lack of capacity for self-doubt, lack of attention to detail, and ignorance of many of the issues. George W. had already run two businesses into the ground and made himself an embarrassment in his father's White House. If he had recognized that his previous failures weren't accidents, he could have saved himself, and us, from being such a monumental failure as president.

Of course, it's always difficult to identify the right path, but George Bush should have recognized that the road to the White House was the wrong path for him.


Anonymous said...

Dumbledore, and Harry, recognized evil for what it was, and knew that it must be addressed and fought in its various permutations, head-on. They cared not of the root causes.

Anonymous said...

Yes, JD, you JUST compared American foreign policy with a children's book. Would that the President could read as well as you! Oh, well, at least he's accepted child-like metaphors to run the country with!

Quick question: when did Osama become evil? Was it when he was fighting on our side, with our money, and killing Russians? Was it when he offered the King of Saudi Arabia the support of the "mujahaddin" in protecting the kingdom against Saddam in 1991 (the King chose the Americans instead)? Was Saddam evil if OBL wanted to fight him.

Man, I gots to admit being confused about when people turn "evil" and away from "good". Must be that my philosophy is based in reality and not in a children's book.

Oh, DEAR LORD!!! I just suddenly realized that when you graduate to reading the "Three Billy Goats Gruff" you are going to demand the government shut down all bridges! My commute is going to seriously longer.....

Anonymous said...

This is the topic raised by Prof. Ric. Comparing politics to Harry Potter. He made his analogy, I made my observation. Your problem is with the Prof, not me.

He has long been evil, but since he declared war on us, it was incumbent upon us to address him. Once he began to attack our interests, we could address it like we did under Clinton, bombing aspirin factories, and prosecuting after the fact, or engage. I prefer the latter.