Bush & the Redcoats

President Bush’s speech today in London was incredible. The President’s fearlessness amazes me. Such conviction is rare in the world today. Something I found particularly interesting were Bush’s opening remarks:

Americans traveling to England always observe more similarities to our country than differences. I’ve been here only a short time, but I’ve noticed that the tradition of free speech — exercised with enthusiasm — (laughter) — is alive and well here in London. We have that at home, too. They now have that right in Baghdad, as well. (Applause.)

The people of Great Britain also might see some familiar traits in Americans. We’re sometimes faulted for a naive faith that liberty can change the world. If that’s an error it began with reading too much John Locke and Adam Smith. Americans have, on occasion, been called moralists who often speak in terms of right and wrong. That zeal has been inspired by examples on this island, by the tireless compassion of Lord Shaftesbury, the righteous courage of Wilberforce, and the firm determination of the Royal Navy over the decades to fight and end the trade in slaves.

It’s rightly said that Americans are a religious people. That’s, in part, because the “Good News” was translated by Tyndale, preached by Wesley, lived out in the example of William Booth. At times, Americans are even said to have a puritan streak — where might that have come from? (Laughter.) Well, we can start with the Puritans.

To this fine heritage, Americans have added a few traits of our own: the good influence of our immigrants, the spirit of the frontier. Yet, there remains a bit of England in every American. So much of our national character comes from you, and we’re glad for it.

It’s a shame that so many Brits have forgotten the moral history that we share. Sadly, many have not forgotten it—they’ve remembered it and repudiated it.

1 thought on “Bush & the Redcoats”

  1. Interesting to read this just as I had heard the news about today’s bombings. Everything Bush says (reading the whole speech) is just reinforced by what happened today. Oh, and we had a “Shelter in Place” drill at work today…to prepare us for a chemical/biological attack or whatever. Weird day.

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