Friday, December 29, 2006

The world’s greatest villain

Roughly two million people died in the Vietnam War, about half of them civilians. Many of them died on the watch of Democratic President Lyndon Baines Johnson and, in my opinion, as a direct result of his war policies. Yet as much as I disliked LBJ, as unpopular as the Vietnam War was, and as many Americans as were sent to their deaths in that war (58,000), I can’t imagine putting LBJ on list of the world’s greatest villains!

In a recent AP/AOL poll, 25% of all Americans polled (43% of all Democrats) said that George Bush was a greater villain than Osama bin Laden (8%), Saddam Hussein (6%), Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (5%), and Kim Jong Il (2%)!

I understand why many Americans would not like President Bush—as a conservative, I am even frustrated with some of his policies. But it seems to me that for 43% of Democrats to rate him as a worse villain than bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Ahmadinejad or Kim Jong Il, is evidence either of profound ignorance, or truly scary hatred by Left wing Americans against their own government.

18 comments:

Kevin said...

If ever there was an argument against democracy... :)

Seriously though the method used to gather the information illuminates the answers: "The poll asked adults to name a famous person to be named the biggest villain of the year, and allowed respondents to pick any name."

The term villain framed the question in a literary way and the open ended question allowed people to pick the person they think of the most. So what happens is people think of their biggest adversary, their opponents, the villain... compared to them or their hero as the antagonist and they choose that person. They are not likely to weigh all of the possible options if they were given a list... would the really choose George W. Bush over Osama? No... probably not in the same #s, if they were asked to rank the list, he'd fall again... but the question leads to the results.

Before I chide Democrats on having such a narrow view of the world as to big the President as the greatest villain, I have to say that picking him as the greatest Hero seems a bit naive and narrow minded as well.

john said...

Good points, Kevin. People rarely take other factors into account when looking at a poll, which is crucial. How the question is asked, the size and composition of the sample, and many other factors must be taken into account. This survey in particular sounds strange to me (just pick a name, any name), and allows for a variety of motivations in the responders - from a chance to vent frustration to being facetious. And, of course, maybe some were serious - which is just as troubling as those who called him a hero.

Anonymous said...

How many people did any of those others kill vs. how many George Bush killed this year?

St. Lee said...

On the contrary... it looks to me like that 25% is right on the money. Mine is the 4th comment on this, and already , even on this fairly conservative blog, 1 of the 4 comments is by someone who appears to be totaly consumed with hatred for President Bush. It doesn't speak well for our future as a nation. How much does anyone want to bet that the next non-liberal president will have all that hatred transfered directly to him?

john said...

That's where my point about sample size would come into play. (And, of course, blog comments aren't exactly the same as a scientific poll.)

Anonymous said...

How is it evidence of hating Bush to point out the obvious. If you add up the people who died because of his war in Iraq and the people he left to die in New Orleans, it dwarfs the number of people who died because of the Presidents of Iran or North Korea combined. Most people in the world would also put Bush at the top of the list for world's greatest villain. Maybe instead of dismissing these results you should try to figure out why that is and wake up to all of the damage he's done to this country.

Kevin said...

Anonymous... you win the "profoundly ignorant" award. Kim Jong Il's aggressive militaristic policies have resulted in famine in his country... the death toll is measured in the hundreds of thousands... see here. He also threatens his neighbors and happens to have created an nuclear weapon to lob at them if he so chooses.

Ahmadinejad hates Israel, one of his neighbors, and would like to see the entire nation destroyed. Iran's actions fueled the recent war between Israel and Lebanon and resulted in several hundred deaths and general destruction to Lebanon's infrastructure. He is working for nuclear weapons so he push his hate filled and aggressive policies on the region.

Dennis said...

Anonymous:

Imagine that three terrorists take control of an airplane on the ground and begin killing one hostage every hour. After three hours and three dead hostages it becomes clear that negotiation is futile and police SWAT snipers take out the three terrorists.

Do you think the police snipers are just as evil as the terrorists? After all, the body count on both sides is the same.

You make no distinction between ruthless dictators who perpetrate oppression and terror, and democratically elected leaders (like Bush or Blair) who sincerely want to stop the oppression and terror (and then spend billions to rebuild the country!)

To compare President Bush with the villains on the list is profoundly ignorant--or just plain evil!

Anonymous said...

Kevin, I'll give you Kim Jong Il. But Ahmadinejad hasn't done anything yet so you don't get that one. Score one for you.

Dennis, if the SWAT team bombed a city to get the terrorists, I would say, yes, the police are just as evil as the terrorists. That's basically what Bush has done.

I don't think I would say Bush is the world's biggest villain but considering all the destruction he has caused it doesn't really matter what he "sincerely wanted to do especially if you're an Iraqi civilian or a citizen of New Orleans does it? I think people who make excuses for the lies he told, for his incompetence and for his indifference to torture and killing are pretty evil, too. Especially when they claim to be Christians.

Kevin said...

Where would Abraham Lincoln rank in your list of evil villain's anonymous?

St. Lee said...

Evil Villian's Anonymous -is that a 12 step program?
Step 1. Admit that you are an evil villian.....
On a serious note though, I hear the Iraqi citizens are dancing in the streets because of the execution on Sadaam. Kind of makes it sound like they are in aggreeemnt with at least some of what President Bush accomplished over there. And exactly how did President Bush manage to manipulate the weather to cause that hurricane?

Anonymous said...

Bush is no Abraham Lincoln.

St. Lee serves up a perfect example of American ignorance which is why we are losing this war: Shi'ites are in the streets cheering because Saddam was a Sunni. So yes, one side of the people fighting a civil war are cheering. Sheesh!

Kevin said...

Your criteria for identifying a villian is the # of people who died as a result of their actions.

You said "How many people did any of those others kill vs. how many George Bush killed this year?"

and you said "considering all the destruction he has caused it doesn't really matter what he "sincerely wanted"

Over 500 thousand Americans died because of the civil war. The economic cost of destruction to the South and the focus of all of the nations resources on military campaigns is obviously a much more significant cost then the current war in Iraq.

So to present a set of criteria for labeling someone a villain and then to give Lincoln a pass and attack Bush when using those criteria... I think it's pretty fair to say you're out to get Bush... not out to look at this from a particularly logical or fair perspective.

Kevin said...

St. Lee... that was a funny :) I can see it now...

"Hi... my name is Kim Jong Il and I'm an evil villain. But I've been clean for a week now..."

St.Lee said...

Actually, Anonymous, I was aware that there are 2 factions of Islam at odds in Iraq. In fact a couple years back I went to the trouble of researching what the origins of the different sects were (not that I remember all of the details anymore, or even which name goes with which belief)
However, your assesment of me as ignorant (and no less than a perfect example - first time in memeory I have been referred to as perfect in any capacity!) is quite revealing. I thought it was "Bush" who was the cause of all the death in Iraq. Now you say its a civil war between the Sunnis and the Shiites. Did President Bush start this civil war? I suppose you could make that case in so much as he removed the tyrant that ruled with an iron fist. After all, there would be no civil war in Iraq if Sadaam were still in power and killing anyone who got in his way.
I have to agree with Kevin on the Abe Lincoln analogy, at least in so far as both Presidents Lincoln and Bush were faced with large multifaceted moral dilemas. Not all Lincoln's decisions were made with the freeing of the slaves as the end goal. To label either Lincoln or Bush as "completely evil" or "completely a hero" shows a lack of understanding of the depth of the issues.

Anonymous said...

The "truly scary hatred of Bush" didn't get 3000 of our soldiers killed in Iraq.

Kevin said...

Maybe anonymous... although I'm suspecting that if you're of voting age one of the people you voted for did actually vote for the war.

The consequences of your ignorance and the ignorance of those who would put George Bush at the top of a list of villains aren't quite as quantifiable as the number of US soldiers who have died in Iraq. But by focusing exclusively on Bush and America as the problem you distract your own focus and the focus of the politicians from the true evils... Ahmadineja, Kim Jong Il, rearming in Lebanon, the continuing genocide in Sudan. Get some perspective.

Anonymous said...

No one is "focusing exclusively on George Bush." We're just saying that in terms of the amount of destruction and evil George Bush has caused or let loose, it is not so far-fetched to see him as a villain as you seem to think it is. Desperate attempts to compare him to Lincoln(!) don't make that go away.