George Bush and Dick Cheney don’t mind being perceived as villains. Their value system does not prioritize popularity. They both seem to operate from a mysterious agenda that includes their vision of how they think the world ought to be.
Because of his behavior, Bush has provoked the outrage and anger of billions of people across the globe. While in the process of carrying out his plans, he may not have quite understood how many people became unhappy with him and to what extent. In the final months of his last term, the mean sarcasm that characterized Bush, and that made it easier to despise him, has softened. In his post election interviews, he acted as if he was not such a mean man after all. This is hard to buy after all we’ve gone through with him.
And it won’t erase the fact that Bush will be remembered as one of our worst presidents. People in the United States and around the world are rejoicing not just about Obama’s election, but also about Bush’s upcoming exit from office.
The damage he has done is immense, to our worldwide standing, to the fabric of our Constitution, to our national security, and to our economy, as well as to the lives of millions. It will take decades to heal the damage of Bush. In some instances, the damage wreaked will never heal.
Bush has an easygoing manner and an understandable way of speaking; for many he is a likeable man, and that supported his election and re-election. I have nothing personally against the man, especially since he has provided me with a lot of material to write about, even if it has all been Bush bashes. However, his actions and his policies while in office have been utterly rotten and a disaster. Nothing can erase this; not a softening of his sarcasm, or any type of doublespeak.
The “good” that emerges from the “bad” is that during his two terms, Bush has indirectly mobilized millions of people to get involved in the political process and in the salvation of our species. For many conscientious persons, his outrageous actions have been a motivator to act and to oppose him. It took such an outrageous leader to mobilize many citizens who wouldn’t otherwise get involved.
Bush’s awfulness has set the stage for Obama’s ensuing election. Bush screwed up so badly that the people needed to vote for someone qualified to bail us out—even though that person turned out to be African American. An African American person who is the most qualified would be harder to elect under other, less dire circumstances.
Obama’s election to the presidency is like a miracle, and it is a restoration of hope. I remember feeling the same way upon Bill Clinton’s election some 16 years ago.
Our goal, in part, should be to oppose the sabotage that the Republican Party will inevitably try, and which has already begun as I write this. We should also put pressure on the members of Congress to do their job, and to not continue to be mired in the shortsightedness, selfishness and spinelessness that has characterized them.
Jack Bragen is a Martinez resident.