Beliefs and Style

Michael F. Cairo

in The Gulf

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780813136721
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780813141275 | DOI:
Beliefs and Style

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Drawing on the previous chapters discussions of “enlightened” realism and “cowboy” liberalism, and the formative experiences of George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, this chapter examines the contrasting worldviews of these two presidents. The chapter contrasts four distinct sets of beliefs that, when combined, form each presidents worldview. First, George H.W. Bush’s pragmatism and experience are contrasted with George W. Bush’s reliance on ideology and gut instinct. Second, George H.W. Bush’s flexibility and willingness to compromise is contrasted with George W. Bush’s certainty of belief and desire for competition. Third, the negotiation styles of the two men are contrasted. George H.W. Bush’s diplomatic skill is compared to George W. Bush’s messianic universalism – the idea that the United States had a universal, unlimited message with global applications. Lastly, George H.W. Bush’s multilateral internationalism is contrasted with George W. Bush’s unilateral nationalism.

Keywords: Pragmatism; Ideology; Compromise; Competition; Diplomacy; Messianic universalism; Multilateralism; Unilateralism

Chapter.  5518 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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