December 10th, 2008 12:09 AM
Some Time with My Commander in Chief
**I hesitated to post this for fear of violating the no politics reg, but I found it to be a valuable, eye-opening experience. If I am in violation, please delete it at the earliest possible convenience**
I had the unique opportunity today to spend over 2 hours with my Commander in Chief, President George Bush. As you may (but probably don't) know from my profile, I'm a senior at West Point. We were privileged enough to have a visit from POTUS today. He addressed the under three classes together with a typical presidential speech. The First Class however, was assembled in a separate auditorium. After watching his public speech on telecast, we remained in the auditorium.
The President then came to address our class, Class of 2009, on our own. This was an incredible experience. POTUS made a deal with us: there were no cameras, no media, no recording devices of any kind. We were not permitted to take video with our digital cameras. We made an agreement of confidence with the President (which I will not be breaking here) that he would speak to the 1,000 of us, and us alone. In return, he was absolutely candid, speaking to us like a normal human being. What followed was a Q&A session lasting about 2.5 hours. No speech writers, no prepared agenda. Just us asking him what was on our minds and straight answers from him.
It was, quite frankly, unbelieveable. The man is the most intelligent, dynamic speaker I've ever seen here at the academy (and we get some pretty heavy hitters!) He articulated his beliefs, policies, and actions in a manner that we don't ever see on TV when he's reading his speeches. And the man is hilarious, to boot. I'm thoroughly convinced that if George W. Bush spoke on a regular basis to the American People like he spoke to us today, he would go down as one of the greatest Presidents in the history of our nation.
I've sometimes had doubts (in private) as to the quality of our President and the appropriateness of some of his decisions. I will tell you with full confidence that today those doubts were cast aside for me. I hope that, with time, history will judge the man that spoke with me today instead of the popular image of George W. Bush.
I guess it just goes to show the vast difference between when folks say what they believe is acceptable and that others want to hear versus saying what they really mean without tiptoeing around things. I certainly learned a life lesson today about the power of being straightforward and up front about things with my troops, one which I suspect will serve me well in the near future.
**Again, my purpose here was to share a unique experience and valuable lesson. Hopefully this will not be taken in the wrong light**
"Mr. Bobby, there's no smoking in here."
"It's alright darlin, I'm a volunteer fireman."
December 10th, 2008 12:17 AM
Sounds like you had a good experience. And I think that we can all ignore the political side of this, and learn from what you've said. It can apply anywhere in life.
Better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees.
December 10th, 2008 12:37 AM
December 10th, 2008 01:01 AM
What a neat experiance. I had a chance to meet him about two years ago too. I didnt get to converse much with him at all, but I did come away with the same feeling you did too. It was because I was "star struck" or anything like that, he's just a man like everyone else, but he is certainly not what he has been portrayed as.
December 10th, 2008 03:49 AM
Good for you, DRH... very cool. I saw Reagan speak when I was a little older than you, and while it wasn't the candid talk you got, it was still an excellent experience... very memorable.
People tend to forget that Bush was looking forward to a quiet term in office... he inherited the Clinton surplus and set his sights on being the "education President"... until...
Anyway, play it over in your head... remember the details... better yet, write it down, in all the detail you can muster... that will be an essay that will only appreciate for you over time.
"Who is to say that I am not an instrument of karma? Indeed, who is to say that I am not the very hand of God himself, dispatched by the Almighty to smite the Philistines and hypocrites, to lay low the dishonest and corrupt, and to bust the jawbone of some jackass that so desperately deserves it?"
December 10th, 2008 04:32 AM
+1 on writing it down. What a cool experience.
"Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008
(Sometimes) "a fight avioded is a fight won." ... claude clay
December 10th, 2008 05:07 AM
Sorry but, this is destined to become politically charged and heated thread.
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