By semi-popular request, this is the infamous "Bush Is A Plank Of Wood" essay I turned in to my composition 1101H class earlier this semester. Enjoy.
2004 is upon us, and in addition to being a leap year, it is also the year in which American citizens are called upon to excercise their right to determine who will administrate the federal government for the next four years. The issues are complex and many people in the workaday world, burdened with their own concerns of day-to-day life, find themselves overwhelmed with the vast amount of information available. Paradoxically, few can find time in their schedules to analyze news reports and other sources of current events in order to synthesize their own opinion come election day. George Bush is the incumbant seeking re-election on the Republican ticket, but in recent weeks, he has come under an enormous amount of scrutiny from the Democrats regarding his competency. Some pundits decry this as mere mud-slinging, while others demand rigourous investigations into the allegations made against him. The average bystander, watching the interplay, becomes confused: How is he to know which side is telling the truth, and to what extent? In order to determine President Bush's fitness for administration, it may be helpful to consider his abilities against the context of an ordinary inanimate object that everyone can understand, such as a plank of wood.
To say that President Bush is not known for his linguistic ability would be an understatement. Many volumes have been compiled devoted exclusively to recanting humorous mistakes made by the president while delivering a speech or engaged in dialogue. The body of evidence is clear: Bush's grasp of the English language is tenuous at best, comparable to the speaking ability of an ordinary plank of wood. Neither Bush nor a plank of wood are very adept at sentence construction, and a plank of wood is completely incapable of obeying simple grammatical standards or vocalizing a coherent thought, which is also true of the president. Furthermore, given Bush's history of making poorly-chosen comments or speaking at inopportune times, often offending people in the process, the silence from a plank of wood seems profound and admirable.
Bush's fiscal policy has been criticized as extremely inefficient and wasteful. A plank of wood is highly unlikely to veto even one federal spending bill, and neither has Bush. Given that a plank of wood is incapable of spending money, it could be argued that the wood is actually much more conservative, financially speaking, than Bush is.
This is not to suggest that the president and a plank of wood are equals -- far from it. There are in fact a number of things the president does which a plank of wood would be incapable of. A plank of wood is not likely to waste money on unconstitutional faith-based initiatives fuelled by theocratic fervor and fundamentalism, whereas Bush does exactly that. A plank of wood will not create the largest government beaurocracy in living memory, unlike the president's Homeland Security Department. Wooden planks are incapable of providing billions in tax credit to the wealthiest one percent of Americans during a time of economic recession and a multi-hundred-billion dollar war effort, and for that matter, a plank of wood would not have plunged an already economically strapped country into a meaningless war. Furthermore, a plank of wood, being just a bit of processed material from a dead tree, is marginally more aware of the concept of civil liberties than is President Bush.
For democracy to work, the voting populace must be informed and knowledgable of the candidates vying for office. Too often, the complexity of the issues, combined with the multitude of accusations, committees, subcomittees, bill riders, gerrymandering, carpetbagging, filibustering, scalawagging, and lollygagging, bewilder the citizens, and this confusion breeds mindless voting along party lines, instead of objective and rational decisions. By comparing President Bush's attributes against those of a plank of wood, the ambiguity dissipates, allowing each citizen to make the logical choice on election day.