When Theodore Roosevelt said that America should â€œwalk softly and carry a big stickâ€ he demonstrated his understanding of the power of humility. He understood that power yielded with arrogance was a formula for disaster.
The Bush administration has raised arrogance to a new level. With every step they take the noise increases. In some cases the Bush administration is simply walking in the same footprints as former administrations but they choose to stomp their way along as opposed to walking softly.
The result of all this stomping has been that it has brought a great deal of attention to some of the wicked paths carved out by American administrations. We have walked softly as we conducted or supported many great atrocities. At least former administrations had cared enough about their own image and the image of our nation to keep that kind of stuff quiet. Itâ€™s one thing to commit a crime; itâ€™s another thing to tell everyone that you are a criminal.
Roosevelt also understood that simply being a tough guy with a big stick was often all one needed to influence those around him. The Bush administration seems to be suffering from low self esteem and has something to prove. It is like that bully in school who has to beat the crap out of people in order to get his way or make people â€œlikeâ€ him (actually they just fear him). These guys (the Bush clan) could learn a lot about life from watching old episodes of Happy Days. Maybe they can see how America used to be viewed as the Fonzy of the world. Remember that through the entire series you saw the Fonz win battle after battle yet he never actually hit anyone even though he was quite capable of doing so? Well, that is not exactly how America conducted itself but at least we tried to portray ourselves that way. At least they tried to keep our image clean.
Even though the Bush administration has raised the bar when it comes to the number and severity of atrocities (via policy, conduct & actions), committed by an American administration they are not the originators of this practice. They are however, the first administration to take pride in the ugliness that is political & military power. Think about it!