To the editor:
In the afterglow of Lance Armstrong's amazing third straight victory in the Tour de France, the Journal World published a letter comparing George Bush to Lance ("Two admirable Texans ..."). It's taken me awhile to realize that this comparison wasn't satire. May I offer a somewhat different comparison ("One admirable Texan ...")?
Lance Armstrong was born to humble circumstances, but through grit and determination he made himself into a world-class athlete (but not a particularly likable guy). He was then afflicted with a terrifying and deadly cancer, that had metastasized to several parts of his body. In his debilitating fight against the cancer, Lance developed real insight and wisdom, as well as an empathy towards his fellow cancer survivors (and also for those whose fight was unsuccessful). The fact that he now dominates one of the most grueling of international sports competitions is simply awe-inspiring.
George Bush, on the other hand, was born to privilege and the "affirmative action" of assumed entitlement. And his "character" is defined by an expectation that he will receive special treatment, whether it's getting into Yale and Harvard, avoiding service in Vietnam through the Air National Guard ("protecting Texas from Oklahoma"), being bailed out of business failures, or being escorted into the presidency by his family friends on the Supreme Court.
Suffice to say, if George Bush had been born to, or faced, the same circumstances as Lance Armstrong, very few would have ever heard of Mr. Bush.