Briggs and Briggs | Bush and the Psychology of Incompetent Decisions

Briggs and Briggs | Bush and the Psychology of Incompetent Decisions
President George W. Bush prides himself on “making tough decisions.” But many are sensing something seriously troubling, even psychologically unbalanced, about the president as a decision-maker. They are right.

Because of a psychological dynamic swirling around deeply hidden feelings of inadequacy, the president has been driven to make increasingly incompetent and risky decisions. This dynamic makes the psychological stakes for him now unimaginably high. The words “success” and “failure” have seized his rhetoric like metaphors for his psyche’s survival.

The president’s swirling dynamic lies “hidden in plain sight” in his personal history. From the time he was a boy until his religious awakening in his early 40s, Bush had every reason to feel he was a failure. His continued, almost obsessive, attempts through the years to emulate his father, obtain his approval, and escape from his influence are extensively recorded.

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