Is George Bush an Alcoholic?
During Bush’s first presidential campaign, I recall hearing a so-called expert argue that George Bush is an alcoholic and that if he is elected president he will likely relapse to heavy drinking due to the pressure of serving as president. Well, he completed eight years as president and never suffered a relapse despite all the pressure he was under. I have heard others imply that Bush is a dry drunk who has been saved by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), but Bush does not attend AA. Notice how these myths develop with the intention of stigmatizing the accused by the label of sickness, which implies weakness. These accusations, however, are based on falsehoods and myths that many are eager to apply to anyone who has at one time abused drugs.
Bush often abused alcohol when he was a young man, and has admitted publicly that he quit drinking after his wife threatened to leave him if he did not stop. By the standard definitions of AA and the disease model, Bush is viewed as a classic alcoholic. What is irritating to the disease model proponents, however, is that Bush did not use the Twelve Steps theory or AA to stop his addiction to alcohol. He did what these theorists say is impossible—he just quit. He felt that it was no longer worth it and he decided that his marriage and other things were more important to him than his continuing addiction to alcohol.
Some argue that Bush is an alcoholic because he has maintained total abstinence all these years, but he maintains abstinence out of choice and not necessity. While many politicians in Washington DC, both Republican and Democrat, consume great quantities of alcohol as they shape national policy, Bush chooses not to use recreational drugs in any form. I admire him for his decision, but I am not in the least worried that he will go off the deep end if he decides to have a glass of wine. Instead, I believe Bush demonstrates the truth of what is happening today among all kinds of addicts, and that is they quit because they want to. Although this is denied by many in the media, popular culture, and the treatment industry, it is a fact, and Bush serves as a good example. It is the elephant in the room that no one sees.
People quit serious addictions all the time without admitting they are helpless or any of the other steps in the Twelve Steps theory of addiction treatment. To label someone as an alcoholic, or a dry drunk, is to stigmatize them for life. To accuse someone in advance of being weak and not able to hold up under pressure without resorting to drugs is a cheap personal attack on someone’s character. What the example of Bush demonstrates is that God has given to each of us the ability within ourselves to make the hard choices about addictive behaviors.
J B Myers