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Why is the Bush Family portrayed badly in general terms?
Quite frankly, the answer is that they are not. Only one member of the family can truly be said to have been a bad apple. His mal-inclination was of course magnified by the position he fell into in his adoptive country of Tejas, but the other members of the family by in large are decent folks engaging in productive activities. Jaime is something of a special case, because he has been truly misportrayed in the press of IB during his presidency and the short Florida War.
Jorge was a nutter, plain and simple. Even I was disappointed with him, and I ran his side of the Tejan war! ;) He's the rotten apple in an otherwise good orchard. Nelson, Marlon and Darlene are all quite respectable people and seem to be doing some positive things in the world.
That leaves Jaime (I also ran his side of the Florida War, and was much more dissapointed with the outcome there). Jaime was regularly blasted in the media at the time, I suppose along similar lines to the way the real Mr Bush is regularly blasted in the media *here* (and even here on the list). Jaime *there* (actually loosely based on *here*'s George -- sort of a Good George / Bad George thing) was, whatever the Scandinavians may have said about him, a really decent guy with rather solid principles who was trying to both secure his country's place in a rather hostile world and reform what was really a bannana republic of the first order.
Shock and horror! You mean the SR and the Commonwealth and the NAL were really the bad guys!?
Yeah, I did at the time and still do beleive that the SR was the real bad guy of that time. The SR did no-one any great favour when it instigated the war. And I am aware that most of the references to this war blame F-C for starting it, but its precipitating causes were almost entirely on the Scandinavian side. Mr Bush went way out of his way to avoid war. But as they say, even now, in Florida, "once a Viking, always a Viking".
Yeesss... Florida-Caribbea had a penchant for territorial expansion. But where's the great sin in that? Every other (colonial) power in the Americas engaged in some kind of terriorial expansion. We can sugar coat it with talk of "Colonies without Colonialism" and the Solemn League and Covenant with its official honouring of the place of Natives in the structure, but in the end, the NAL was as much of a land grab by British powers as the US was *here*. Just a bit nicer and overall with less bloodshed. But who's running the show really? It's the Newcommers.
Why was F-C seen differently? Well, I think that's because the NAL and all the other countries did their grabbing early on -- between the early 15th and middle 17th centuries; F-C did its land grabbing after, in the early 20th century, and by that time, all the European and American powers had more or less settled their differences and were rather miffed when a new and entirely native power arose on the continent and challenged their hegemony.
Like our own Manifest Destiny, with its sea-to-shining-sea vision of a continent spanning nation; F-C had its Destino Castellano, with its pan-Caribbean vision of an all encompassing Caribbean nation governed not by foreign colonisers but by -- you guessed it! -- Caribbeanos! Like our Monroe Doctrine (foreign powers stay out! (Except for St. Pierre and Miquelon, who are too damn cold and wet to be bothered with)), F-C had its Munoz Doctrine, conceived by an early 20th century proponent of native Floridian might and influence in the region, which largely said the same thing, though on a smaller scale. F-C never intended to invade, occupy or annex any mainland territory; though some dreamed of a union between F-C and Tejas. Happily, Mr Jaime Bush realised his brother was off his rocker and stalwartly steered his own course. You would not be too far wrong to see 20th century F-C as a scaled down model of 19th century America.
Most of the subjugated territories were actually pretty much on their way to acceptance of their lot (Jamaica (an NAL province), Trinidad & Tobago (English counties) and the Crusado Islands (a Scandinavian colony) were notable exceptions and were more vociferous in their opposition to Floridian governance. Even now, polls show a consistent though small minority that wished the war never happened. Except in the Cruzans, where the Castellanos were forced to leave their homeland -- the Cruzans now show no such favourable inclination towards the old F-C. Some American political thinkers are of the opinion that the strong but not overwhelming support for the formation of a "Caribbean League" (along the lines of the NAL) is a carry-over from F-C days and the engrained desire to fulfill the Destino Castellano, and also the Munoz Doctrine.
Mr Bush himself was in actually quite the reformer, in general a rather "moderate conservative" politically. Perhaps more of a "libertarian", if such a thing exists in IB. His strongest motivations were to secure Florida-Caribbea from the spoilers in the NAL and SR who wanted to mess things up -- the "poderes estrangeros" who want to rule from far away capital cities in foreign countries. Domestically, he was fairly conservative: a devout Catholic, he supported the Church in its official state-church capacity and in general supported legislation that leaned more towards the right. He was not so far right leaning that he tipped over, though. As far as business and private life of Floridians was concerned, he was more of a free market type and a libertarian. In a region of the world where personal liberties are often curtailed and governments might lean more towards socialism, he liberalised such industries as he deemed were best left in private hands (notably the media), nationalised those that he deemed best run by the state (transporation for example); tended to lower taxes and encourage Floridians to take to their wings, as it were and fly. Of course, no one in Europe or America took the Floridian press seriously. Even now, the RTC has failed to come to grips with the Floridian free press tradition -- they try hard to keep news from leaking out, but they haven't succeeded in doing that.
Of course, his was a very delicate balancing act. On the one hand, he had the native "Castellanos" -- the Floridians, the Cubans, the Portoricans -- while on the other, he had the "Naturalizados" -- the various assimilated islanders -- and on the third hand, he had the "Estrangeros" -- the Jamaicans and Tobagans and Crusados who for the most part did not really want to be part of F-C. Nowhere was the situation more delicate than in the Cruzan Islands, the place where all of F-C would be ripped apart at the seams.
Mr Bush had no problem at all quashing "internal demonstrations" in Kingstown or Port of Spain; but when it came to Charlotte Amalie, he really put on the kid gloves. The governorship of the Cruzans was in the capable hands of a real diplomat and his "Caribbean Plan" was intended to soothe all the foreign powers with various condominium arrangements with their previous colonial territories.
Leave it to the Scandinavians to misinterpret "condominium status" for "complete independence" and hey presto, you have the pretext by which they turned their half-century long piracy war into an earnest war with the FK, NAL and France as allies. Of course, the Scandinavians call it a "privateering war", but everyone knows the means, methods and results are the same. Even the FK engaged in some privateering in the Caribbean (though they had no laws protecting or governing privateers, so they were truly pirates!) Usually, this consisted of Dumnonian and Brehun operators who would either seize F-C boats or make lightning quick forays ashore to steal property or people (see "Lost Saxons" in the Dumnonia article).
This was definitely not what Mr Bush had in mind when he approached the SR in good faith. F-C took the SR's response, and the persecution of Castellanos in the Cruzans, rather personally. In general, the Scandinavians are seen by most Caribbeans as marauders -- even those who weren't directly affected by the war. Everyone reads the news out of Florida, and no one is ignorant of what happened there.
The war itself was a travesty and a shameful land-grab on the parts of the allies. Not satisfied with "liberating" their own lands, they invaded, raped, plundered, pillaged, sacked, and entirely ruined Florida. Happily for Cuba and Porto Rico, they saw the writing on the wall and repudiated the Constitution, reverting themselves back to their pre-revolution status as independent states. Both could sense the onslaught of the Vikings in full berserk mode and threw themselves on the mercy of the FK and NAL. Fortunately for the northern and western thirds of Florida proper, the NAL and the Aonstat Eire, respectively, occupied those lands. Now, East and West Florida are again NAL provinces (they were originally NAL provinces, seized by Spain and carried over into F-C after the 1898 War); and the Irish Zone of Control in the western third of Florida is recuperating well.
Sadly, to the shameful injury of the Viking invasions was added a horrible injury of RTC occupation. A bumbling and ineffectual lot of do-nothings they have been. Tens of thousands of eastern Floridians are still living in concentration camps / relocation camps / settlement barrios or whatever it is the occupiers are calling the places these days. Florida has, of course, also been hit hard by hurricanes the last couple years, and people are simply shuttled from a hurricane devastated war relocation camp to a new hurricane relocation camp. 2008 will probably prove no different.
Mr Bush has spoken out loudly and clearly about the NAL's involvement in the coup that toppled his government and also against the RTC for its lackluster performance as occupiers. He currently lives in, I believe, Oregon; but he also goes home to Massacheussetts from time to time to visit family.
The members of the Bush family "portrayed badly" are Jorge Bush, former dictator of Tejas, and Jaime Bush, former president of Florida-Caribbea and now something of a peace advocate and spokesman for the remaining Floridians still living under European occupation. If we examine the histories of the countries over which they governed, we clearly see that they presided over two really rotten systems. In Jaime's case, it seems to have been not entirely his fault; he seems to have been given little choice. Also, in Jaime's case, the international effort which stopped him didn't universally lead to improvement in the lives of the Floridians or anyone else in the region.
Yes, this is correct. Mr Jaime presided over a rather corrupt Florida-Caribbea, which he was forcefully trying to reform. He had many successes (one of which is the free press, which has outlived both the Republic and the Scandinavian / RTC attempts to shut it down. We don't hear a lot out of Florida these days, but it is clear when what we're hearing is from official channels or from the free press of Florida. The monied aristocracy and the wealthy members of the Cortes hampered his efforts at reform. It is thought that some of them were in cahoots with the Americans in planning the coup.