Principalities & Powers

How Do I Hate Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

The cinders of the World Trade Center had barely fallen to the earth before George W. Bush had it all figured out.  “America was targeted for attack,” the President explained to the nation barely 12 hours after the first plane hit the Manhattan skyscrapers, “because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world.”  Perhaps that explanation provided some comfort—though not much enlightenment—to the mystified and terrified millions who were wondering what was happening and why; but it was an explanation upon which the President and many others soon enlarged.  By September 20, Mr. Bush could offer the country an expanded account of the motives behind the bloodiest single act of mass murder in history.  “Americans are asking, ‘Why do they hate us?’” he said during his address to a joint session of Congress, and again he had the answer at his fingertips:

They hate us for what they see right here in this chamber: a democratically elected government.  Their leaders are self-appointed.  They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.

Among those statesmen who admired both the President’s rhetorical gifts as well as the profundity of his political philosophy was the largely forgotten football star Jack Kemp,...

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