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The International Writers Magazine: Comment

A Letter to Mr Bush
Colin Todhunter

I was thinking about writing a letter to George Bush recently. He’s in a bit of a pickle these days with the Democrats in control of both Houses. And he always looks so pained, as if the whole world has got it in for him (it probably has). But I don’t really know whether to feel sorry for him or to condemn him outright for his actions over the last few years. My letter would be something like this:
Dear Mr Bush,
Many people appear to think that you were never up to the job of President of the USA. Others argue that you are quite bright and your inarticulate nature hides a burgeoning intellect. I think we must draw our own conclusions based on the evidence at hand.

I think you missed your calling in life. You were not much of a businessman before you entered politics, even with the help of dad, and you’ve proved not to be much of a politician, again even with the help of dad.

You should have gone on stage. Instead of facing audiences that despairingly hold their head in hands in response to your gaffs, you could have performed at comedy clubs across the world and elicited bouts of uncontrolled laughter.
Your act could have been based on being the President of the USA - you know, pretending to be the president and basing the character on some half-wit. It would have been a bit hit, with audience members nudging one another and saying “just imagine if that guy actually was the president” then bursting with laughter at the mere thought.

But sadly it has been all too real. I just wish I could have met with you a few years ago. I could have saved you and the rest of us such anguish. Based on my evaluation of your early performance as president I would have given you the following advice.

Often what you say is comprehensible to too few and incomprehensible to so many. You tyrannise meaning through language and tyrannise language with garbled meanings. Your words could mean everything but frequently they mean nothing. I think you should try to specifically define what you mean in order to mean what you say. But perhaps you are happy to continue as you are because by imposing preciseness you would expose ambiguity. By burdening your speeches with intellectual substance, you would strip them of emotional content. No doubt you would have carried on as before and ignored my advice.

You would have continued to put forward your version of unconditional truths based on certain knowledge, as indeed you did. And in doing so would have merely succeeded in highlighting the total lack of it, as indeed you did.
Why on earth did you not go on stage instead? Comedians throughout the world must be thinking what a loss you were to their profession. Their loss was our gain? Not really. You’ve been a dead loss to the presidency.
© colin todhunter December 18th 2007
Colin Todhunter's new book is just published: - Chester the Superior Dog Goes to India.
Order the book - Click on pic

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