1. Archive

In a leader, smarter isn't always better

Re: George Bush is clearly not up to the job, by Bill Maxwell, July 8.

It has been my experience that a person's innate IQ has little correlation with the person's emotional IQ, character, moral compass or integrity. The fact that members of the Mensa Society are incarcerated in prisons throughout our nation underscores this opinion. It would seem that they are very bright individuals who possess serious character flaws. In fact, if William Jefferson Clinton were held fully accountable for his consistently immoral behavior, he would be among the incarcerated. So much for Clinton's ability to "instantly synthesize information."

Maxwell apparently needs to rise above the tabloid level of journalism and base his disagreements with our political leaders on policy and ideological issues rather than on what amounts to character assassination based upon his personal prejudices.

Robert C. Whitener Jr., Valrico

A voter's assessments

Re: George Bush is clearly not up to the job, July 8.

Toward the end of his latest Bush-bashing column, Bill Maxwell poses a few questions about Southern white men who voted for George W. Bush. I am one of them and offer an explanation for him to ponder.

I have been a registered Republican for more than 40 years but was ready and eager to cross party lines in the 2000 presidential election if the Democrats had had the courage to nominate Bill Bradley, a thoroughly honest and intelligent man. They did not, preferring to reward Al Gore for his eight years of aiding and abetting the most corrupt president in modern times and the only one in memory who actually had to plea-bargain his way out of office.

I then voted for John McCain in the Republican primary, believing with Maxwell that Bush is a bit light in some areas. But when the dust cleared, there stood Al Gore and George W. Bush. Which to choose _ Al Gore, with his head crammed full of knowledge but without one solitary principle he wouldn't bargain away in a minute for a boost in the polls, or George W. Bush, a basically honest and decent man who admittedly needed some high-level tutoring?

It seems to me that it is easier to educate a man of principle than to instill core values in a man to whom they are an alien concept. So, I voted for George W. Bush and, contrary to Bill Maxwell, I am confident that he will continue to grow into the job.

Barry M. Johnston, Inverness

Proud of the president

Re: George Bush is clearly not up to the job.

What is "lousy" about a 50 percent job approval rating after only five months in office? It is better than all recent presidents' ratings with equal time in office.

Why is it the "scary truth" that the most educated and wealthiest Southern white men overwhelmingly voted for Bush? Does more education and wealth cause men to want an "unqualified man as president"? Maxwell knows better.

I don't see any reason yet for Bush supporters to "fess up that their man is not up to the job." He is doing exactly what he said that he would do, and we are certainly not embarrassed by his non-official activities. We are proud of the way he is doing his job. We were seldom "proud" of Clinton.

The current "White House puppeteers" will definitely earn their keep during the next four years because they are the best available. We are proud that Bush chose them for his team. Those choices are signs of the new president's "intellectual" understanding of what the nation needs to recover after eight years of Clinton/Gore.

The "grave disservice" was done by those who gave Clinton a second term, knowing exactly what kind of person he was. What does this say about them? If Maxwell is serious about "empty suits," he should consider how empty the two suits are that were let out of the White House by the "rational choice" of the nation's voters.

Robert Hicks, St. Petersburg

A sour-grapes attitude

Re: George Bush is clearly not up to the job.

It is obvious from Bill Maxwell's commentary that he is a liberal Democrat still stinging from the election's outcome. His sour-grapes attitude does no one any good. Bush is the president. He has different perspectives than Maxwell's, and Maxwell should live with it.

We all just enjoyed eight years of a womanizing, immoral, liberal, intellectual with all kinds of worldly experience. It was time for a change.

While I agree with Maxwell's view that Bush is not the most worldly, charismatic and intellectual president, I am enjoying the lack of scandal and the down-to-earth approach of this administration.

Scott D. Brown, St. Petersburg

Self-serving voters

Re: George Bush is clearly not up to the job.

Bill Maxwell did a smash up job on the majority of his column, showing how America has parted ways with acceptance of George W. Bush and his follies _ both foreign and domestic. Unfortunately, Maxwell did falter at the end of his article. He cites the "wealthy Southern white men" as reasons why Bush is in office and pointed this out as their mistake in voting for Bush.

The truth is, the wealthy Southern white male _ and all the corporations they help run _ didn't vote for Bush for the sake of the United States or because they thought he was a keen intellect. They did it because of the close allegiance to corporations that Bush has. They voted for him because they were more concerned with profit margins than the well being of the United States.

They were more concerned about getting a big tax write off, no longer having to enforce environmental regulations at their plants, and being able to drill into anything that might contain oil.

John Fontana, Palm Harbor

Concerns in focus

Bill Maxwell's July 8 column was one of the best. It really puts into words how I, and probably many others, feel. Although I am a Democrat and voted for Al Gore, I was willing to give George W. Bush a chance. I do disagree with many of his policies, but it is the lack of knowledge and his inability to articulate the issues that have caused me to have doubts about his leadership.

I believe Maxwell has hit on the very issues that concern many people about George W. Bush.

Joyce Sheets, Tampa

It's about character

I am one of those college-educated white folk who voted for George W. Bush. And it is not "scary" to me that "the most educated and the wealthiest Southern white men overwhelmingly voted for" our president. You see, educated people (even those young college men) can think for themselves. They do not swallow the worn out line that the liberal Democrats will take care of everyone. Those educated people saw that nothing was really accomplished during the previous eight years of promises.

Bill Maxwell wants to know what their vote say about them. It says they are intelligent enough to know that character is more important than intelligence. It says they are intelligent enough to know that leadership is more important to a nation than fancy speechmaking.

Our president may or may not be as intelligent as his predecessor _ but he does know that you can borrow brains (Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Dick Cheney) but you cannot borrow character. If we surround ourselves with knowledgeable people they can help us make the right decisions that are best for us.

Arthur Olsen, Clearwater

They're all human

I usually enjoy reading Bill Maxwell's comments. I am a registered Independent and have always found amusing the silly misstatements by our political leaders from the Republican and Democratic parties. Over the years I have collected these silly misstatements (somewhat of a hobby) from Ronald Reagan, Dan Quayle, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Dick Gephardt, George Bush and George W.

Maxwell mentions Bush's "infamous linguistic gaffes" and "the president's lack of knowledge and his apparent inability to intellectualize _ not to mention his inability to articulate." I believe Maxwell is doing a disservice to his readers when he makes this comment, as he gives the impression that George W. is in a class of his own in this regard. This could not be further from the truth. I have found over the years that no one politician has this market cornered. For every inarticulate, inane statement said by George W., I can provide an equally inane statement by Al Gore or any other politician I've listed.

No politician is at the head of his class in the silly-statement arena. Less we forget, all our political leaders are human beings. When put under the microscope and microphone day after day, all of them from time to time will say something stupid enough to raise eyebrows.

Don Mehan, St. Petersburg

He can do no right

It seems that short of George W. Bush walking on water, Bill Maxwell will say nothing positive about the president.

But should Bush actually walk on water, I have to believe Maxwell would condemn him for violating the separation of church and state.

Kevin D. Murray, Tampa