I am no apologist for George W Bush. Don’t know the man, can’t say that I like him or dislike him. I don’t even know where I stand on the “war in Iraq” thing. But I did see his popularity plummet from record highs to record lows without changing anything. So it must have been the people who changed their opinions. That got me thinking whether history will judge George kindly, or are the opinionated masses right?
I am kinda leaning towards George…
- When the country was crying out for someone to take charge, he did just that. He made a promise on the spot and showed real leadership in a moment of national (international!) crisis.
- When that same country stopped loving and admiring him, he stuck to his guns. When he had the opportunity to do the popular thing and withdraw from Iraq, he did the unpopular thing and stuck to helping the people that suffered because of the war.
- The war might not be over, but in the end the atrocity of war was less than the atrocity of the dictatorship and people were free, even if they weren’t safe. He did not count the cost of removing but a handful of evil people in dollars; and the world is better place for what he has done.
- When the planes flew into the skyscrapers, he cried.
- He got to be President, twice, even though a lot of smart people said he was not the sharpest tool in the shed.
- He remained faithful to his values, his wife and his God, even though he was mocked for it. He did not do drugs or get pissed in public – which is a helluva lot more than some of us can say.
- He could have gone it alone, but he did not. But when he was abandoned and isolated, he stuck to his alliance in good faith.
- He remained focussed on the big picture threat of terrorism – even when it became an inconvenient truth.
- He re-built the buildings and healed the scars with no regard to the money, but cared for only the pride of the nation.
- He still laughed at himself, despite being under more pressure than most humans beings could possibly bear.
Now, he may dumb and the terrorism thing is not solved by a long shot (no pun intended). I am not sure he can be blamed for either. Whose to know whether he is simply obdurate, or whether he is committed to the cause. In the end, he did all that could be asked of any person: give it your best shot.