Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Cincinnati Enquirer Letter To The Editor

Thanks, Gary, for sharing this great letter that appeared in today's Cincinnati Enquirer and offers career advice to George W. Bush in the event that he's looking for work in a couple of months.

Your Voice by Dr. John S. Hutton

I have long felt that George W. Bush's talents are not adequately channeled as president.

I used to think that his star power belonged on Sesame Street; our nation sponsored by the letter W. However, Bush's 2004 campaign inspires a more vivid vision: George W. Bush, televangelist.

While his presidency has been a testament to divisiveness, fear and maniac fiscal policy, anything-but-comforting citizen souls, Bush would make a terrific televangelist, eclipsing even compassionate, conservative, Jerry Falwell.

He should ditch the "uniter-not-divider" show and step-up ministering to the converted. Karl Rove could be his choir director, cuing hymns and amens for maximum ratings.

Dick Cheney could be his sidekick Prophet of Doom, grumbling from Revelation on the hour. John Ashcroft could develop a Soul Code system, tweaking the odds of the Apocalypse depending on viewership and giving levels.

There are considerable upsides to exiting public life. Gone are opinion polls, incessant cries for peace, jobs, and tolerance and pesky demands of people you don't agree with. There are no campaign-finance laws for televangelist ministries. They are tax-exempt, the ultimate tax cut.

They can have all of the secret meetings they want. They can despoil their land. They can be blissfully sanctimonious, testifying about the miracle of running up epic debts and having viewers pay them off.

Bush would retain political influence as a televangelist, as evidenced by clergy who distort theology and run afoul of their tax-exempt status by proclaiming voting for John Kerry a sin.

He could lead grand, unaccountable crusades to the Holy Land. And he could hammer this home: if viewers don't pledge unquestioning devotion, they'll be banished to eternal agony alongside trial lawyers, environmentalists, U.N. delegates, gays, pro-choice women, liberals, and other partakers in the Axis of Evil.

None of this questions Bush's faith. It's his competency as president that is in doubt.

John Kerry would make a terrible televangelist, doomed to an obscure public access channel. However, Kerry would make an excellent president, his faith balanced with intelligence, integrity, and the ability to assimilate reality. The presidency is a complex job, requiring more than witty one-liners and preaching to restore America's soul.


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