No New Taxes
Though we know the story of Tartuffe, written by Moliere, to be one concerning a holy, presumably pious, man, we also know it to be a story that depicts a man of great hypocrisy. He is a man who tells people what they wish to hear, for the most part, and then does just as he sees fit to enable him to gain what it is he desires. We see this throughout the entire play. Now, throughout time there have always been men in power who are incredibly hypocritical all in the name of obtaining what they desire. It matters not what the desire is, they simply do what is necessary to obtain their wants. In the following paper we illustrate how ex-President Bush is not at all unlike Tartuffe in that he often told the public one thing, and yet secretly endeavored to do something else. He was, in many ways, a man of inconsistencies who fooled much of the country into thinking he was someone he was not, just like Tartuffe.
We see Tartuffe first, through the eyes of those around him. For several acts we do not hear him or see him at all. But, what we see and hear gives us information which illustrates him to be a powerful and pious man. He is seen as desirable and seen as someone quite worthy and powerful. We see this in the contemplated marriage: “Mister Tartuffe, sure, take it all in all,/Is not a man to sneeze at–oh, by no means!/’Tis no small luck to be his happy spouse./The whole world joins to sing his praise already;/He’s noble–in his parish; handsome too. Now we can imagine that this is the same perception people would hold towards someone such as Bush, before and after presidency. He was considered to be a fairly kind and handsome man, with at least some noble notions. People saw him as one who would take some serious efforts in altering the country for the better, just as people saw Tartuffe as a man of his word. When we first see Tartuffe we see how he presents himself as a selfless man, telling another that if anyone comes to see him, he is elsewhere sharing his “alms among the prisoners”. This is the man he presents himself to be, at first glance. And we understand at this point that he is a man of some morals and may well be a righteous individual. But, we begin to see the illustrations demonstrate otherwise when we see him openly condemn a woman for baring her bosom: “Cover up that bosom, which I can’t/Endure to look on. Things like that offend/Our souls, and fill our minds with sinful thoughts”. At this point we see him as a man set in his religious and pious ways and are given such proof again when he selflessly states that he would give his own health to restore another’s and that he does for that other individual “far less” that they deserve. He appears, by all standards, to be an incredibly pious individual who has incredible standards by which he lives. This is not to say that we do not understand him to be a bit controlling or stuffy, just that he appears to stand for something that, according to religion and tradition, is righteous and strict. But, that all suddenly changes when we watch him make advances upon Elmire, who is married. He lusts after her, fondling her bodice and essentially presenting himself as a very amoral individual. And in this we see his hypocrisy: “I know that you’re too good and generous,/That you will pardon my temerity,/Excuse, upon the score of human frailty,/The violence of passion that offends you,/And not forget, when you consult your mirror,/That I’m not blind, and man is made of flesh”. Here he is making excuses for something that earlier, he had condemned. He had informed the woman earlier that her bosoms were indecent and that she was in err. But, when he is in the position where he desires, he makes excuses and says essentially, “hey we are only human.” Basically he says whatever will get him what he wants. He tells people what he thinks they need to know, and makes the situation work for him. We see this when he later claims that “No one who knows me, sir, can have the thought/That I am acting from as elfish motive./The goods of this world have no charms for me;/I am not dazzled by their treacherous glamour” . We had just seen that the goods of the world did have charm for him, in the form of Elmire.
Now, we ask, what does this have to do with Bush? Bush was not a man to go after women, as far as we know. He was not necessarily a man of great faith and enduring morals. But, he was a man who often presented himself as fighting for righteous causes, but secretly was very involved in the things he openly fought against, just like Tartuffe. It maybe that the best place to illustrate this with Bush is in his involvement with the supposed war on drugs. We know that beginning in the Reagan Administration the war on drugs was a very big deal. And we understand that Bush was equally a part of this supposed war. But, according to many, Bush was partly to blame for the war on drugs not being effective The following has been stated: “To interdict the drug flows and to prosecute the drug money launderers at the top of the banking community would have represented a real public service. But Bush had no intention of seriously pursuing such goals….the war on drugs was a cruel hoax, a cynical exercise in demagogic self-promotion, designed in large part to camouflage activities by himself and his networks that promoted drug trafficking”. Bush claimed many things that he really never stood for, and drugs were by far the most obvious of these involvements. His war on drugs was a rhetorical and publics relations success for quite some time, much like Tartuffe’s success at presenting himself as pious. At one point, Bush promised to use sophisticated military aircraft to track the airplanes used by smugglers . Several days later, Bush ordered the US Navy to send in its E2C surveillance aircraft for this purpose. And despite the fact that much went wrong with this endeavor, Bush still claimed that his efforts had essentially eliminated the marijuana trade in south Florida. Of course, such a claim was incredibly absurd and when Francis Mullen Jr., the administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)criticized Bush for making this wildly inaccurate statement, he was soon ousted from his post at the DEA. What is more astounding, however, is how far Bush went in presenting himself as a man against drugs, yet maintained a relationship with powerful drug dealers. It has been documented in detail how the Iran-contra drug-running and gun-running operations run out of Bush’s own office played their role in increasing the heroin, crack, cocaine, and marijuana brought into this country. It has been known that Bush’s relations with his close supporters in the Wall Street LBO gang, much of whose liquidity is derived from narcotics payments which the banking system is eager to recycle and launder. We recall Bush’s 1990 meeting with Syrian President Hafez Assad, who is personally one of the most prolific drug pushers on the planet, and whom Bush embraced as an ally during the Gulf crisis .
Clearly, even if we only discuss this one topic, we can see how Bush was much like Tartuffe in presenting himself as one thing, but truly being something else. He was, in all respects herein, a hypocrite and used his image only to get what he wanted. This was obviously the same for Tartuffe. And perhaps, one of the most interesting things to note, is that Bush’s son, who runs for president today, is essentially of the same mold, but with not enough documented information to truly assess the degree of his hypocrisy. Needless to say, the hypocrisy of Tartuffe can be found in many political figures today, perhaps even especially Clinton who seemed to have the same lust for women, though presenting himself with the image of having repented.