February 25, 2005
Bush Talk Of Spreading Democracy Causes Widespread Panic
Some Democracies Accidentally Evacuated
President Bush's remarks to foreign leaders about spreading democracy caused a widespread panic this week among individuals and nations who were uncertain as to the import of his remarks. Early in the week, Bush told foreign leaders that he would spread democracy throughout the world so that the flower of liberty will continue to bloom and grow. "We have spread democracy all around and planted the seeds of liberty," said Bush. "If you water that seed, there'll be lots of fruits." Bush then pledged to "aggressively spread democracy everywhere."
His remarks alarmed many, and several small democracies, and one theocratic monarchy, evacuated pending clarification from the United States.
After his remarks about the spread of democracy, President Bush talked about "being tough with the moolahs," which quickly plunged economic markets around the world into a downward spiral. White House spokespersons later clarified that the President's words should not have panicked anyone, because the President "did not mean what he said," and "was not sure what he was talking about."
A poll found that Bush's statements about spreading democracy were slightly better received in Western Europe than elsewhere: 68% of Western Europeans did not trust Bush to spread democracy, and 68% thought that Bush was talking about spreading something else. "I know what he was talking about, but I think he meant 'compost,'" said Gerhadt Sheinmutter, a German gardener. Nine out of ten Europeans also mentioned that they did not need a Bush spread, whatever it was, because they had Nutella.
In the wake of the reaction to his remarks, President Bush today promised to speak more plainly, but noted that he "was keeping his options open."
Posted by Tom Burka at 12:00 PM