May 24 editorial | ParkRecord.com

May 24 editorial

What kind of welcome mat will President Bush receive next week?

President George W. Bush is scheduled to be in Park City on Wednesday to help raise cash for presumptive GOP presidential nominee John McCain.

So what kind of welcome should we give the guy who has (1) involved us in an endless, pointless war, (2) cost us the respect of people around the world and (3) run our national debt into uncharted territory with a combination of tax cuts and runaway military spending?

Granted, he hasn’t done it alone. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t tried. (We’re still incredulous about the contempt that Bush and his puppet, Colin Powell, showed the United Nations in the weeks leading up to the Iraq war.)

Having said all of that, we also believe that, as the president of our country and the choice of millions in two separate elections he deserves the respect that is commensurate with that office.

While we may not be joining musical activist Rich Wyman on the picket line, we respect those who plan to exercise their First Amendment rights in doing so as long as their protests remain peaceful.

As members of the media, we look back with acute discomfort at the way the national outlets dutifully covered the buildup to the Iraq war. But now, with the president in our corner, we face a similar dilemma: Do we report his words and actions at face value and let the voting public draw their own conclusions or do we play the role of the skeptic?

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Of course, that depends on whether we’ll have an opportunity to do any more than witness his arrival and departure. When Barack Obama came to town, he stepped out of his motorcade and spoke for about 30 minutes. We doubt we’ll get that kind of opportunity. When Rudy Giuliani was here in 2007 during his run at the presidential nomination, we hardly saw him. That’s more than likely what we’ll see next week.

Unfortunately, we’re stuck with George W. Bush for another eight months. But, with a presidential election on the horizon, we should already be asking ourselves: Are we better off than we were four (or eight) years ago? And if not, what are we planning to do about it?

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