Skip to main content.

Back to: >> Editorial


Consider the following activities and contemporary actions.

Mr. Bush
The President
"Christian teaching"
Begins days with prayers to God; then goes to war.
Prayer is OK. (But the Pope and bishop Tutu, oppose war in Iraq, as do most religious leaders.)
Arrogantly makes wrong justifications in going to war.
Shows aggressive and punishing behavior by going to war.
Turn the other cheek.
Adheres to "moral standards" [whatever that means] while going to war.
Love thy neighbor as thyself.

Alexander Stille, NY Times 31 May 2003

"When President Bush used the term crusade to describe the war on terrorism, was he inadvertently revealing religious roots in American patriotism?"

He was revealing his own view for sure. He may indeed think he is riding a rising tide of fundamentalism. But there is a problem: which religion would Mr. Bush be invoking? Any problem with that?

In the words of Rene Laventure:

"I fear him [Mr. Bush] because, in the same way that he has forged ahead, mostly unilaterally, arrogantly and aggressively with this war in Iraq, he is also forging ahead in the dismantling of our civil liberties, our social programs, our educational systems, our economy and our environmental well-being. He does not seem so much to believe in God, than to believe he is god." [Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 26 March 2003; letters to the editor]

Heather Stratford, from the same information source, adds:

"For those of us who call ourselves Christians, including the president, our actions are supposed to exemplify the teachings of Christ. But just as the peaceful majority of Muslims are tired of seeing their religion twisted to promote violence in the name of God, those of us who believe in Jesus' way of peace are tired of having our religion hijacked by those Christians comfortable with promoting the terrorism of war."

Laventure and Stratford are American patriots for speaking out.

Certainly Mr. Bush exhibits some behaviors consistent with an Authoritarian Personality. Examples:

Narrow disciplined, either-or outlook ["You are with us or against us." In effect Mr. Bush demands the world submit to him and his beliefs or face consequences.]

Control and power [If the White House is anything, it is disciplined and marching to the tunes of Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld.]

Sexual intolerance [Total disdain for Mr. Clinton who was in fact much more aware of and active against the al Qaida threat than Mr. Bush was-- until 9/11.]

Destructiveness [Starting a war while trashing an economy.]

Cynicism [Disdain for diplomacy and world opinion.]

Psychological projection (believing others see the world as they do) [A big problem in the run up to war in Iraq. His domino theory that Islam would embrace democracy is an example.]

Religious fundamentalism [Push to bring prayer and religion into government in defiance of Jefferson's teachings or even common sense.]

Lack of introspection and insight [Unlike his father and other recent presidents, Mr. Bush claims to lose no sleep over his decisions. He feels no guilt because he believes what he is doing is right.]

For those not familiar with this personality type, the Authoritarian aspect of people came to light and was given a name only after WW II as the reason why the German public bought into Hitler and his dreams of a Third Reich. Hitler actually defined the personality type in Mein Kampf. Eight generations earlier, Ameer Ali, the most famous of India's Thugs, also exhibited the extremism that results from a run-away authoritarian personality. Like Hitler, Ali exhibited hang-ups that distorted his views of the world.

We are again witnessing the same phenomenon in our times, in the Middle East, in Washington, and in the American voting booth. However, most of us share something of the personality type--but most of us do not go to the extremes leaders seem to feel free to.


No comments yet

To be able to post comments, please register on the site.