With only a few days left of the reign of Bush, I thought I would take a few moments to reflect on his rule over this country. It has actually been an interesting eight years to be sure. I mean yeah I would trade this president for any other in recent history, but I did learn a great deal from Bush all the same.
It is actually kind of funny looking at Bush and how he ran in 2000 to get into the White House in the first place. I won’t even really go into the fact that he became the first president in history to not win the popular vote and thus made a case for why we should revisit how someone gets elected. Beside that, he ran based on religion, not caring about partisan politics, and not caring about polls and yet all these things he seems to have been further from. After being elected, he went on and do the opposite of what the Bible teaches every day of his career. He became the footprint of what a republican is, and I think it is fairly obvious that he cared greatly about polls (his marginal victory in 2004 was a mandate after all).
Yet after 2001, I think most of us could agree that he looked pretty good. After all, 9-11 occurred and I think it is safe to say that he handled that pretty well. In retrospect, he mostly just did what I think most of us would do. He visited workers at the site, visited loved ones, attacked Afghanistan (as Clinton did in previous attacks), and made pretty speeches. Of course, he could have done at least something about preventing the attack but whatever, he still did reasonably well.
He then went on to capitalize on the deaths of thousands Americans to terrorists by enabling rules that never would have passed had 9-11 not occured, thereby systematically stripping citizens of their rights as Americans and giving himself powers as a president that he likely shouldn’t have. He got funding for organizations that helped him and his cohort gain power and paid them unreasonable amounts of money. Entered into an unjust war against a nation that did not deserve, nor necessarily even want to be invaded, and then had the gaul to call them terrorists for this war.
Bush was full of bad bill after bad bill, not even necessarily related to 9-11. Besides the war in Iraq and the UnPatriotic Act we saw the Pharmaceutical Companies get rich quick bill, the Every Child Left Behind Bill, his weird attempts to fix illegal immigration, the bailout bill, and considering the fall of the stock market, thank God we didn’t put social security into it as well. It never seemed to end. His policies were so awful that I almost wanted him to stay on vacation, which he certainly tried to do as often as possible by going on vacation more than any president in modern history.
The only things that I can think of the Bush did well was the anti-spam law and the unsolicited phone call laws. However, these were minor and do more to highlight just how bad of a president he actually was. These would be minor footnotes for any other president, but for W. they are all he did.
George W. Bush’s presidency wasn’t a complete loss for me however. Eight years ago, I was a naive 22. I honestly thought that the president had very little impact on the United States government in general. I didn’t vote in 2000 because I didn’t think it mattered, and I didn’t think I mattered in it. He proved me wrong on both respects and he very well may have made me a voter for life. In fact, the last four years have been so bad that I may start voting in non-presidential elections as well because even if we have a bad president, I feel that we need to have responsible people in there who can and will block bad decisions from occurring.
Bush thinks that time will prove his presidency will be a good one. I am sure he honestly believes that, but I doubt it will happen. His failures have been so well documented thanks to modern technologies that I don’t think anyone will forget for hundreds of years. I do think that George W. Bush will be remembered past his lifetime. But then so was Nero.