Tomorrow, we’ll see a new President for the United States inaugurated and we’ll see the end of George W. Bush’s presidency. I thought that I should take this opportunity to express my thoughts on his term as president, seeing as how I’ve only mentioned him in passing on my blog. Where should I begin?
How about intellect? No, I’m not going to go for the “lolol bush is dumb”, since I honestly don’t think that’s the case, as much as we’d like for it to be true. He’s no mastermind, but he certainly knew what he was doing. It’s certainly easier for him to get away with crap under the guise of his alleged stupidity. It was easier for him to convince people that he was just a regular guy. He essentially made it bad to be an intellectual. And in office, he continued that war by ignoring and working against the scientific community.
How about civil rights? From the Patriot Act to the domestic spying program to the suspension of habeas corpus for those under suspicion of terrorism, the Bush Administration has seen a number of restrictions on civil rights in the States, both through legislation and illegally. You didn’t think warrant-less wiretapping was legal did you? I don’t care if it was for the security of the nation. Democratic nations have a little something called Rule of Law and that rule should never be compromised for any reason.
How about economics? Remember how Bill Clinton left office with a surplus? Bush decided that would justify some massive tax cuts. Not too long after that, there was 9/11 and a recession, and a bit later, a war to fight. And there was no more surplus to act as a safety net, leading to some fairly large deficits. And let’s not forget massive deregulation of the banks that have landed us in our current financial pile of crap.
How about foreign policy? It’s amazing how quick it took for Bush to squander all of the goodwill that the world had for America just after 9/11. Starting an ethereal war against terror, invading Iraq even though there was no reason to and lying about it, and deliberately antagonizing enemies are all the mistakes that Bush made while he was trying to impress the nation with his bravado. Because of his actions, the world is a much more dangerous place.
How about religion? Somehow, Christianity in America transmogrified into some sort of political entity and an extension of the Republican party over the last decade because of Bush. Seeing my religion used as a political tool that’s used by politicians that I don’t agree with is not something that makes me happy. Much has been made about the fact that Bush is a devout Christian and Christians seem ridiculously quick to forgive him of his faults because of it.
Based on his actions, I find it incredible that any Christian can consider him a shining example of our faith. If he is a Christian, he’s done a poor job of showing that he is one. Sure, he might earnestly appeal to God in his speeches and he might pray for the nation. However, I don’t think that a Christian would subvert Rule of Law, lie to the public, or politicize their faith. This doesn’t really indicate whether a person is saved or not, but it gives insight to their character, and I would find it troubling if someone with poor character were going around calling themselves a follower of Christ.
Ultimately, Bush’s legacy will be overshadowed by all of these problems. He acted against the interests of the nation, so he was a bad president. He knowingly lied and subverted the law, so I’d even say he was a bad person. Unless they address each of these huge problems that he’s wrought, I will be very skeptical of anyone who claims that Bush was good measured against any metric, and I’ll be questioning their judgement pretty hard.