What Did You Think of GW’s Speech Last Night?
We were surprisingly reassured by it; but where’s the apology?
Did you see George Bush‘s speech last night? We want to know what you think – did it reassure you, scare you or just confuse you? Here’s reaction from a couple of the Bettys to get the conversation started.
April: I might as well come out and say it – I’ve never been a fan (to put it mildly) of President Bush. I didn’t vote for him, and I’m against many (all?) of his actions and policies while in office. It’s really hard to me to be unbiased whenever I see him speak … so … that’s why I was amazed to find myself thinking he did a pretty good job last night. After watching him, I feel like I have a better understanding of what this whole situation is about, and I feel good – well, optimistic anyway – about the ability of our government to come together – in that elusive bipartisan way – to work out a solution. Of course I had my moments of skepticism (Gee, you don’t seem so worried about spending my taxpayer money on a war I don’t believe in … for FIVE AND A HALF YEARS), but I’m really interested to see what happens next, and – most importantly – my basic faith in the future of our economy got a positive boost.
That being said, I sure do have a lot of questions – and not just all of them are directed at the government (how could this happen in the first place?) and the CEOs of these companies who apparently made such terrible decisions (in a nutshell: WTF?!).
The biggest question I have is to myself: Why don’t I have a better understanding of how the economy works, and what the heck is going on?
I’m no dummy. English was my forte in school, but I always did very well in math and science. (OK, except chemistry. I think my chemistry teacher was actually from another planet, speaking an alien language. But I digress.) I’ve studied political science, world history, French, Shakespeare. I have a successful career doing something I love. My husband and I are raising a bright, beautiful daughter together. I can hold a conversation about any number of things and not sound like a total idiot … but when it comes to economics I’m TOTALLY CLUELESS. And – frankly – when it comes to finances, I’m no genius – not because I’m stupid, or uneducated, but just because … I don’t know why. I do know that the odds of my checkbook being balanced on any given day are probably about equal to me getting bitten by a shark on my way to kindergarten drop off.
AND I KNOW I AM NOT ALONE.
Why is this?
Julie: While my first instinct was fear that the president was coming on television to address the current economic situation – using words like urgent, disaster, collapse, rescue effort – in the end it left me feeling a little more reassured.
I’m an optimist by nature, and because so far I personally haven’t felt a lot of this economic crisis (although it did take a YEAR to sell our house when moved cross country) it’s not something I’m worrying about every day. But it’s getting closer – especially when I see that a HALF gallon of milk cost more than $4!, and when the president interrupts prime time, that’s serious. Then I look at the stock market, where many of our assets rest, and I get more scared. I just asked my husband yesterday if we should pull our money from the stock market, should we close out our bank accounts and store the money elsewhere … not sure where that be, unless under our mattress …
But instead of striking deeper fear in me, last night’s speech actually gave me some sense of reassurance that our government is doing what it can to protect us – that they will figure this mess out … even if they helped get us into it. Maybe I’m too optimistic, but I guess it’s better for your health than worrying all the time right?
Carrie: Last night, President Bush said some frightening things that we all know, but that are scary to hear for reals. Things like: “We’re in the midst of a serious financial crisis,” and “…the gears of the American financial system began grinding to a halt,” tend to send a chill when delivered from behind a presidential podium.
My question — where is the apology from behind that podium? Who was manning the ship when those gears began grinding to a halt? Is no one –no one — to be held accountable? Or at least be forced to say: “Sorry, American people, for costing you $2,000 each for this royal screw-up? I know that means some of you might not get to eat this year, or visit a doctor, buy your children winter coats or pay their college tuition. Sorry about that.”
Like a woman scorned, I’m still waiting for my apology.
Note: If you missed the speech, you can watch it here: