#55 - George W Bush and the DUI
Last week, November 2000, the news broke that George W. Bush had been arrested for DUI in 1974. The charges flew in the press that we ought to really consider this charge in deciding whether Bush has the character to be president. When questioned about it Bush immediately admitted that it had occurred. I would pose to you that the fact that this story came out, that Bush had been arrested for DUI and paid the penalty 26 years ago is a non-story.
Bush has told us throughout the campaign that he used to party a lot and had a major drinking problem until 14 years ago when he ceased drinking. The Democrats and Gore have continuously carried on against Bush that he has grown up privileged and that his daddy's name has protected him all the way.
Having a DUI in your younger days is not an indication that it is a continued problem. Drinking and driving used to be much more of a problem than today and many people drank and drove and many did not, and do not, get caught. Although this does not make it any more ok, 1974 was before the current emphasis on DUI that MADD has made it. The former governor, and current senator, from Georgia, Zell Miller, received a DUI when he was young, but yet fought as governor for much stronger DUI laws.
The real story would have been instead if they had discovered that George W. Bush had been stopped for DUI in 1974 in Maine and had been released with no arrest, or had not been convicted. That would have supported the Gore camp's assertions that Bush has never had to pay a penalty for his mistakes. This instead shows that Bush has clearly had to pay for his mistakes.
The other real story in terms of a DUI and Bush that would have impacted the election would have been if the story had instead been that the DUI had occurred in the past 14 years and would have shown Bush to be a hypocrite.
I do not believe this story will make any difference in the outcome of the election Tuesday. It is too long ago, Bush paid the penalty, he has since changed his lifestyle, and the American people are willing to forgive others if they are willing to try to change life. Part of that forgiveness is probably also the common thought of "there, but for the grace of God I go". I think we tend to treat politicians also in America like God treated David in the Old Testament, in that God forgave David when he admitted guilt for the adultery and murder, and that God allowed David to go on to be one of the most famous monarchies even to today, but God did require a penalty.
Get out Tuesday and vote. Vote for the candidates you believe will do the best job in moving out nation in the best way.
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