I just realized this morning that George W Bush, 43rd President of the United States, and I have something in common (other than the fact that we’re both white boys who are for all intents and purposes from Texas). One thing that I’ve surmised about President Bush is that he simply cannot negotiate with or even countenance people who he finds personally repugnant. I think that’s one of the key reasons why we aren’t doing anything about North Korea. We can’t just attack them (especially not right now when the military is busy), and I don’t believe President Bush can bring himself to negotiate in good faith with the likes of Kim Jong Il. Similarly, I think that was the key reason for Bush’s policy of freezing out Yasser Arafat. He thinks Arafat is a scumbag and he can’t bring himself to work with him. (Unlike our non-approach to North Korea, the decision to cut Arafat loose is looking pretty smart.)
I find in myself the same tendency to utterly avoid people who I think are of low character or who seem to me to be absent ethics. There’s no accounting for taste. President Bush surrounds himself with the likes of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and others who seem extremely distasteful to me, but that’s beside the point. There are people in the world of weblogging (and general online writing) that I have become acquainted with online or in real life whose writings I simply cannot read, regardless of how many people point to them or how well regarded they are, even if I generally agree with them. That’s because in my perception, they’re major jerks. Indeed, when I do follow a link to their sites every now and then, it’s all I can do not to hop over to my own site, and write up a big rant about what jerks they are so that all the world (or at least, the minute percentage of the world that actually visits this site) can know what I know about the members of my own personal axis of evil.
That would be petty, though, so instead I just stew in my own juices. One thing I do know for sure is that my incredible revulsion when confronted with the idea of dealing with people I don’t respect would make me a bad President. I might make an OK dictator though.