Monday, November 07, 2005

Bush the Democratic, Bush the Tyrannical

The discussion of the tyrannical man is the focus of Book IX of as Socrates and his young friends analyze how the son of a democratic man evolves into a tyrant. This situation is one that, like all other anecdotes and stories told by these philosophers, can be applied to any modern day figure that is similar to the theme of the book. The tyrant, as Socrates describes him, is raised in the household of a democratic man, or the type that is described to be a leader of a democratic society. The effects of servants and other people who wish to fulfill their unnecessary desires at the expense of the wealthy democratic man corrupt the son of this man, however, making him have less self control.
The anecdote of how the tyrannical man comes out of a democratic home is one that can be applied to a number of situations, specifically any leader who follows their father in their reign over a certain country or group of people, then becomes even more tyrannical than their ancestors. A more relevant example to our country today is George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, whose father was also president a mere eight years earlier. In contrast to each other, George Herbert Walker Bush can be called Socrates’ democratic man, and George W Bush can be called the tyrant.
To understand the viability of this comparison between our current leaders and the leaders described by Socrates, we can look at the issues the United States has faced with another powerful country in the world, Iraq. Beginning with the Gulf War in the early 90’s, when Bush assembled a worldwide coalition to fight the advances of Saddam Hussein, Iraq and the United States have been at odds, and different presidents have dealt with this situation in their own ways. Bush Sr. dealt with the conflict with Saddam in a manner that showed the high value he placed on public opinion and the world view of The United States. As the tyrannical son learns from what he perceives to be weakness on the part of his father, Bush Jr. was taught by people around him to take a more aggressive stance on Iraq, eventually invading the country, and utilizing the full force of the U.S. military to back up his cause.
The allegory of the tyrannical son being corrupted to believe in instant gratification and satisfying his unlawful desires, no matter what the consequences, is clearly exemplified with the Bush administration’s decision to go to war in Iraq. Acting on the advice of so-called advisors, who in reality are powerful agenda-pushing agents who were left over from the father’s rule over the United States, Bush Jr. acts out his desire to solve the problems with Iraq in a way that would supposedly give him instant gratification of his desires. These desires are arguably unlawful, including pushing the American way on foreign countries, being opportunistic in the search for more profitable oil contracts, and other bases to store U.S. troops and weapons in order to exert influence from those areas.
In conclusion, to further prove the relevancy today of The Republic, we can apply the description of the tyrannical man to our president. During the days of his fathers presidency, Bush Jr. witnessed the unsuccessful way that Bush Sr. ran the country, resulting in losing his bid for reelection, and failing to finally take care of the threat of Saddam Hussein to our country. After being influenced by advisors claiming to believe in the best interests of the country, Bush Jr. was encouraged to act out a situation where he can fulfill any unlawful desires that may put him at odds with the American public or the rest of the world, the true definition of a tyrant.

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