It’s hip to hate George Bush. Millennials can’t name anything he materially did to deserve this hate, outside of subjective accusations such as “be an idiot” or “start a pointless war.” Even young conservatives by and large acknowledge Bush’s “failed presidency,” writing off his actions as that of a RINO or otherwise stating that he is not a true conservative.
I’m not here to convince anyone that Bush was a great president, but to ask what your hatred of Bush is actually predicated on. Do you even know anything Bush did (besides enter Iraq)? Did you know…
- Contrary to the liberal perspective of the “uncaring Republican,” Bush tripled aid to Africa
- Bush’s administration got Libya to give up it’s WMD program and renounce terrorism
- Decapitated Al Qaeda’s leadership and avoiding large-scale terrorist backlash
- Also contrary to the liberal image of the “racist Republican,” the Bush administration implemented America’s first racial profiling ban
This should make you think that perhaps Bush wasn’t the worst president we’ve ever had, despite how much he is demonized in the media. Don’t just hate Bush because it’s the cool thing to do. Instead, get educated on who he is and what he did.
Even the issues Bush is demonized for are not all that they seem. For instance. the “Bush lied, people died” rhetoric oversimplifies a complex foreign policy issue into a convoluted conspiracy theory that says we only entered Iraq because of our greed for oil. But in 2012, less than three percent of our oil came from outside North America, let alone Iraq. The “lie” was that he said we entered because they had WMD’s, and while a later report did find that they didn’t have any built at the time, they retained the capacity to do so and intended to do so once sanctions lifted.
This is a far cry from the “innocent Iraq/evil Bush” rhetoric bandied about in every conceivable news outlet. Even conservative outlets don’t touch this taboo topic and instead prefer to ignore it.
However, the impact of this attitude is larger than that of Bush’s reputation. We’re supposed to assess politicians on their positions and whether or not they work, not whether or not they’re popular. Politicians aren’t celebrities, and we shouldn’t judge them on whether or not what they did was cool.
Furthermore, we can’t go around judging people when we haven’t at least taken ten minutes to understand them. Nothing is more dehumanizing, and yes, even George W. Bush deserves to be treated as a human. Read the linked articles to find out more about what Bush actually did, and you might find that he’s not all bad. Do the same whenever new stories break: don’t jump to conclusions based off of headlines and what your friends say, but read and take the time to figure out the truth.
Who knows? You may learn something new.