Taking An Opinion Poll…A Response to Sabella Abidde

by Dr. Wunmi Akintide

My Dear Sabella,

Because we are human and different we cannot always agree on every issue or debate. It is fine, if we agree, like you said, most or some of the times. I have great respect for your viewpoint even when we disagree. What I was doing in that piece is like taking an opinion poll which is just a snippet of event as the time the poll is taken. It was not for fun that I deliberately ended the piece by inferring some comparison with another potentially great Republican President who became the first to be forced to resign in circumstances totally beyond his control.

Bill Clinton was, by any stretch of the imagination, a good President to many here and around the world. Just look at how close he got to being forced to resign in disgrace because of one silly error of judgment which was blown out of proportion by his political enemies Of course you are right to say it is premature to pass judgment on the success or failure of the second Bush. But passing judgment on incumbent and past presidents is an on-going exercise, because historical verdicts do not come easy because they take time to unfold. If pundits are still debating how great George Washington was and his place in history when compared with Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, FDR, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan to mention a few, I appreciate, like you do, that History may yet return a different verdict on some of these Presidents including Bush.

What you are essentially disputing in your critique which I understand, is not that some of the observations I have made in my write-up are totally wrong, but that you think it is too early to judge. You yourself can see that I am not a great fan of Bush the second. My point is that he is not a pushover at all, and that he has done some great things which you and I and all his critics may not always appreciate or acknowledge, but which his Party and a cross section of his supporters across the country and elsewhere around the world, do truly appreciate. A good example is his recent comment that it is ridiculous for anyone to think that the US is planning to attack Iran, and then quickly adding that, “having said that, all options are still on the table”. What exactly is that supposed to mean? It depends on who you ask.

Even where you disagree with me, I don’t believe that you and I are so far apart in our overall assessment of Bush. The big difference is that I won’t go as far as you did to call him a total failure. No. I won’t do that to be fair to him and to myself and to all those who may have a different take on the debate in question.

You are a fabulous thinker and writer and I never pass on a chance to read your thoughtful articles, even when we don’t agree on everything you write. I thank you, nonetheless, for the civility of your language and your general sense of decorum which I fully reciprocate. To me Disagreement, in of itself, is sometimes therapeutic and necessary, if it is done correctly and with decorum We all can learn from one another. Can’t we? I still believe that Bush the 43rd has something going for him. I will not lie to you. You have a great weekend.


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1 comment

Sabella Abidde May 3, 2005 - 10:15 pm

Dear Dr. Akintide,

This is to let you know that I have just finished reading your response. And I also wanted to say my hello and to express my profound respect…


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