Amidst the devastating loss of Barbara Bush, it seems that America is suffering from political amnesia, causing them to forget the George W. Bush presidency.
The Bush family is well known for their questionable reign upon American politics. George W. Bush wasn’t the best person to be in charge of this country, but people forget just how bad his presidency was because of the current controversial president.
Americans move from one political disaster to the next and forget everything they just witnessed. They forget the bad times and focus on the worse times. The Bush legacy perhaps was saved due to President Donald Trump’s controversial beliefs and actions, putting into perspective George W. Bush’s actions as the country’s leader.
In the first few months of his presidency, Bush was busy banning abortion aid, attacking Iraq and halting stem cell research, as if Bush was sucking the life out of every positive action from the Clinton administration.
For the rest of his presidency, Bush would be controlling the war in Iraq — despite the fact that the Chief U.S. Weapons Inspector didn’t find any nuclear weapons in Iraq — which was one of Bush’s bullet points for going to war. He also banned late-term abortions. Bush would also seek re-election against John Kerry, and win, giving the American people four more years.
Bush is the kid you used to sit next to in first grade that would constantly tip his chair out of boredom. He would sit there, stare at the teacher and tip his chair. You’d be annoyed because it was distracting you from learning. He would eventually tip all the way over, fall, and then be shocked that it could have ever happened.
In the last year of his presidency, Bush made some more questionable moves. Issuing a $700 billion bailout to help failing bank assets, Bush saved General Motors and Chrysler in order to prevent their bankruptcy. He provided a break at the expense of the American taxpayers. Over the course of eight years, Bush drastically changed the fate of this nation.
All of these major events and changes had Americans questioning George W. Bush and his choices. There was so much madness it was hard to tell if there was a method behind it. Bush was constantly criticized during his presidency, through Barack Obama’s presidency, and until Donald Trump took office and took the badge of dishonor right from him.
Political amnesia exists because people want to believe that change will happen. They want to be able to let go of the past and look toward a future where there is success and brilliance. The American people will always strive to look forward — but they will also look to blame someone. Every year since he left office, Bush remained the scapegoat for those looking to pin the current state of the nation upon someone.
As soon as Trump was elected, a majority of people let go of their “Bush Baggage” and looked forward to a new president and his aspirations. They held out hope that this country would improve on the shoulders of a man who made a lot of promises. Even with his first few questionable decisions — such as Betsy Devos — everyone still put their money on Trump. Most people were let down and disappointed.
With Barbara’s recent passing, America has witnessed George H.W. Bush sitting by her coffin, wearing socks with a stack of books on it as a tribute to his wife’s love of literacy. We read and watch as Jenna Bush Hager gives a loving tribute to her “Ganny.” It’s as cute and heart wrenching as it sounds, and there are many people that are glorifying the Bush family as they grieve.
Barbara, your dedication to this nation was outstanding. Your literacy programs have helped countless children across the country, and your legacy will never be forgotten.
No matter which way it is spun, Bush’s decisions left a blistering scar on this country. A twisted form of amnesia may fool a majority of Americans, but the greatest thing George W. Bush has ever done has been lucky enough to call Barbara “Mom.”
Jacey Gonzalez studies Journalism. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.