When someone gets to the top of a state, this is because he was able to convince all the decisive citizens of this state that he would lead their state to new successes, either at last or as a continuation of its existing successes. In a democracy this includes winning over the voters, who expect to profit, firstly from their nation, and secondly from its leaders. Voting is therefore never followed by checking whether the empowered leaders are complying with one's wishes - this would quickly end in a kind of practical criticism of the people's representatives which is banned by the constitutions of all democracies. Instead, people vehemently discuss the qualities of their leaders, translating the many "disadvantages" served to the less fortunate citizens into the criticism of "bad government." And as far as foreign countries are concerned, they are judged according to the same nationalist pattern. The man at the top of the other state suits "us" - or else he doesn't! A supposed general interest is always voiced, which includes the individual interest of every citizen whether he sits in the Cabinet or on the board of directors, or goes for a walk in the forest when he doesn't have to be at work. Unfortunately, this leveling is not only popular with those who really have good reason to speak of their, i.e. "our," friends abroad. Even those people, in America and abroad, who cannot stand George Bush always take the national interest for granted. Those who oppose missiles and are afraid of a nuclear war never want to do without one thing, in spite of all their derogatory remarks about the Yankee boss: "national reason" is always called upon when dealing with the "mistakes" of rulers.
It might be useful to clarify dogmatically what a mistake is: a violation of the purpose which someone wants to perform. No mistake is being made - especially in politics - when other people have to answer for the success of an enterprise.
It might also be useful to present a few abstract examples of the difficulties of this concrete thought: the set phrases which give an NFL coach the recognition of the sports press and the fans which he wants and needs, do not befit a wife when she asks her football nut of a husband for assistance.
It may also be regarded as a mistake when someone who opposes war starts making military calculations - or justifies his need for higher wages in the manner of an economist, i.e. by citing the prosperity of the economy. It is just as wrong to accuse one's boss, who keeps ordering one around, of being a bad speller and thereby making a mistake.
In short, the standards of criticism should really have something to do with the intentions of those criticized. One should therefore give heed to these intentions - and if one does not like them, one does well to observe that one is faced with a hostile and damaging actor. One then proves this to all those one knows to be faced with an enemy of their interests as well.
Now and then George Bush utters declarations of war, more or less. And what does he hear, in case he's listening? That he doesn’t speak well. That he is not equal to his office, with his most personal peculiarities. "Responsibility" and all that. And what if this is not the least bit important? Now and then George Bush confuses Slovenia and Slovakia. And what do his critics tell him, even though it doesn't really interest him? That he can't even tell apart two countries starting with “S" - with all his "responsibility"! And what if this is of even less importance?' If U.S. politics is not based on education at all?
George Bush has an economic policy which "makes the poor even poorer and the rich even richer." Is this supposed to be an accusation? When has U.S. politics ever devoted itself to eliminating the classes? When has it ever advocated the nonsense that "fairness” means something like "everyone having an equal and decent income"?
George Bush behaves like some "small-town American." Is this supposed to be another objection? Would you rather have a big-city dandy from a British private school? What if education is just as important for a politician as it is for a gangster?
George Bush does not know everything about ordering back missiles. My God, is he an ignoramus when it comes to military, atomic, tactical and strategic matters? Don't worry, you fans of political expertise and genius! This gap in the repertoire of the decisive leader does not damage the U.S. politics which is his job, either. He makes sure that his professionals work out the expedient employment and production of his bombs - in all alternatives and with all their disadvantages. George Bush's politics grants "an interest rate which is too low," causes the dollar to be "over-evaluated". And what if this is what is important to him and his colleagues? And - above all - what if the currency problems have nothing to do with you, even though the damage done to you is often attributed to them?
George Bush pushes a war which will kill a lot of his own citizens as well as those of his allies. What if the war is not at all intended to protect people, but to be won? Etc., etc. ...
George Bush is a good president of the United States, world power number one. If there is a better man for the job, the Yanks will be sure to find him. Some intellectual or more liberal character would not be any better - so they shouldn't act as if they would be. And the many other people who would like to have a useful, less dangerous, better educated and more sophisticated U.S. president should shut up unless they have something against the business this president is there to do.