Bush Plans To Start Think Tank Devoted to French Political Thought

CBS will air a portion of its interview with President Bush on Sunday’s Face the Nation. You can look forward to this exchange:

CBS: “Have you had time to think about what you’re going to do after you’re president?”

BUSH: “I’m beginning to think it through a little bit. I’d like to leave behind a legacy — or a think tank, a place for people to talk about freedom and liberty and the DeTocqueville model of what DeTocqueville saw in America.

It’s curious that Alexis DeTocqueville is Bush’s inspiration for a think tank. DeTocqueville was a French political thinker who traveled extensively around America in the early 1800s and wrote famously of his perceptions of the U.S. in a two-volume set entitled Democracy In America. A review of DeTocqueville’s writings suggests that, though he wrote in the 19th Century, he may as well have been studying the politics of the Bush administration:


“I foresee that all the military rulers who may rise up in great democratic nations will find it easier to conquer with their armies than to make their armies live at peace after conquest. There are two things that a democratic people will always find very difficult, to begin a war and to end it.” [Link]

“I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America.” [Link]

“The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.” [Link]

“All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it.” [Link]

“When an opinion has taken root among a democratic people and established itself in the minds of the bulk of the community, it afterwards persists by itself and is maintained without effort, because no one attacks it.” [Link] (Note: DeTocqueville never imagined the creation of blogs)

We look forward to Bush’s interpretation of DeTocqueville and the opening of his think tank. Perhaps he’ll create an institutional blog, which would provide a wonderful forum to debate his legacy.