To the editor;
I attended the anti-[George] Bush rally in front of the Sheraton Hotel in Guildford. Sandwiched between the stoic faces of the RCMP detachment and fiery slogans of the crowd in front of them, I suddenly felt a tinge of sympathy for Mr. Bush, the man who has to carry the burden of his decisions for the rest of his life – not an easy task.
No, he can’t just go for a simple walk in any public place without being ostracized and shouted at. He can’t cross many borders without certain legal risks. The French do not clamour to let him climb the Eiffel Tower and the Germans do not want to hear his advice. His meals require poison checks and his cars are preferably bullet proof.
And the worst bit is having to appear with William Jefferson Clinton on the same stage in order to earn a living. Here is the guy who, except for minor ideological differences, did and would have done the same under the circumstances handed to Mr. Bush. He too served two terms. He too bombed Baghdad unprovoked. He too presided over a bubble – tech crash in his case. He too completed his term with a recession. He too undermined the economy by abolishing the Glass Steagall Act among other deregulatory initiatives. He too employed former Goldman Sachs executives in his administration. He too took money from Wall Street.
And yet, Mr. Clinton is lionized and feted everywhere. He appears in public and people cheer. The French gladly lead him through the Louvre and the Pope hurries, tripping over his robe, to receive him. To top it all off, his speech fees at events like this Surrey Summit top the $500K mark while Mr. Bush can barely squeeze $150K. Mr. Clinton is ascending into the historic annals of presidential successes. Mr. Bush seems destined to scrape the bottom in the posterity rankings with the likes of Mr. Hoover and Mr. Nixon.
Putting myself in Mr. Bush’s shoes or rather in his uncomfortably oversized suit, I feel empty, sad and disoriented. “Why?” I can’t stop asking. “Why do I lead this secluded, limited, misunderstood, armour-vested half life while Mr. Clinton lives his to the fullest? This is simply not fair. Does any of this have to do with that White House intern episode?” I ponder.