George W. Bush was a throwback. Think of the manner of being a man that was iconized by John Wayne back in the 1950s. I am 61, old enough to remember when almost all men were, or aspired to be, strong silent types. I tried to be one of those myself for a long time.
Lots of men in the West and Midwest and South most likely still try to be unfeeling icons of masculinity, as Bush did.
The problem with trying to be that kind of Man, as Bush was obviously doing, is that if you’re not rather unfeeling by nature, the struggle not to be emotional or voluble makes you rigid. The world you perceive has to be narrowed to remove from awareness all things that might make you become emotionally unstoic (or un-stuck!). If you aren’t smart, and so can’t compensate for this unconsciously-chosen narrowness of vision by analytical understanding — as, say, Nixon could, to a degree –, then you are bound to become stubborn and, as such, incompetent to run anything highly complex.
I think that is, at bottom, why Bush made so many mistakes.
Here are some revealing photos of Bush through the course of his presidency: