Why I can’t help but like George W. Bush

Posted: March 23, 2010 by Scott Kistler in Politics

I don’t think that Bush was a very good president, but I often thought that he was someone that I would really like to have as a next-door neighbor.  I think that in some ways that helped him connect so powerfully with a lot of people after 9/11: he seemed like a normal guy who reacted like normal guy would.  I think that he didn’t govern particularly well, although I wish that I had been more gracious in some of my criticism during his time in office.  He was certainly president in a very challenging time, and I think that our current and future leaders will struggle to deal with really tough foreign policy and economic problems in a rapidly changing post-Cold War world.

I saw a Christianity Today politics blog post that had some of Bush’s post-presidency thoughts.  Here was a section that reminded of something that I really did and do like about Bush:

Bush talked openly about practicing his Christianity in office, including sharing his faith with the Russian and Chinese heads of state.He said he told the Chinese president that Christianity is good for China. “Wouldn’t you like to have a people whose first obligation is to love?” he recalled telling the Chinese leader.

  1. I am appreciating him more and more with time. I think his legacy will be subject to praise and criticism. Here is an older post about his popularity in Africa: https://endued.wordpress.com/2008/02/28/the-untold-story-of-george-w-bushs-foreign-policyafrica/

    I think this post offers some correctives to those who think that nations hate us because of him. Nations have hated us before him, hate us now, and will continue to hate us. There is longstanding foreign policy that will always create enemies. While some might have issues with the war, etc., I am glad that we were leaders in helping the plight of Africa and didn’t sign off on a bunch of treaties binding ourselves in certain areas of environmental concerns.

  2. Scott Kistler says:

    Bush’s legacy will be a fascinating one to track. The paths of Afghanistan and Iraq will be key, as will further research into the economic crisis, I imagine. It will probably take a while to understand the implications of the national security crises too: torture, wiretapping, etc., as future historians understand the circumstances and compare him with Obama’s time in office with some similar challenges.

    Like you said, the idea of George Bush being the cause of America hatred is silly. I think that some of his policies made things worse in that area; Iraq was really an unforced error. But as Obama is finding out, these things aren’t easy, certainly not as easy as the Democrats thought they were while they were in opposition or on the campaign trail.

    Something that I keep thinking about is that perhaps the global forces are moving away from American dominance as the world economy changes. I wonder if future historians will see the 70s and on as a time where we just couldn’t adjust, and that both the GOP and Dem paradigms for approaching things simply didn’t address the new reality very well.

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