An Ode to a Misrepresented President

April 17, 2008
By Jade Kedrick, Santa Monica, CA

In light of the coming election and present state of degradation of President George W. Bush, we would like to take this opportunity to defend his so constantly ridiculed demeanor. This article is not intended to praise Bush, merely to play devil’s advocate to the general slander, and acknowledge that despite the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, Bush served as a conduit of the American people. We are not trying to claim that Bush is the best president our nation has ever seen; we are trying to stand by the fact that he’s not the worst. In being our president, he deserves some respect from his people, no matter how much we dislike him. Our current medium of showing our dislike has become the various monkey-related shirts and degrading bumper stickers that clutter America. As Americans, we need to face the facts. He is our president. A more successful channel of showing our dislike could be protests or rallies instead of the mindless, derogatory “He’s not my President” bumper stickers.

Before his first term in office, then-Governor Bush ran on a platform of unity: he claimed to want to bring both the Democratic and Republican factions of government together in political harmony. This idea brought President Bush to the White House, despite controversy. Prior to the 9/11 attacks, Bush’s presidency was defined by tax cuts, one of the largest programs in U.S. history at $1.35 trillion. Until September 11, 2001, President Bush’s approval rating was steady 55-60%, not proving god-like status, but surely not the devil incarnate. Bush was a president presiding over a war, one of the most difficult scenarios that can be thrown in to the hands of a president. Throughout, we must admit, that he was only doing what he thought was best for our country. Even if we didn’t like his decisions, obviously not all the information that swayed his decision was presented to the public; so, in light of him knowing all the facts, we must trust his decisions.

With the War on Terror, the president’s approval rating shot up to 88%. What could the president think but that he was doing what the country wanted? But, people started to understand the gravity of the situation they had contributed in creating and began to protest the war. As soon as things got ugly, we looked for a scapegoat and found the president, whose neck could easily be put on the line. Wars are not something you can start and then abandon, a spur of the moment decision that you can take back with a “mea culpa, mea culpa”; the president had toe walk the road less traveled and follow through with what the country had started. This is the crux of the matter, where Bush gets his bad name. The American people label this Bush’s fault but if they want the real culprits, they need only to look in the mirror. This war began with the backing of the American people, but cold feet left it on the shoulders of the president.

President Bush’s terms were by no means the easiest to sit though. While tangled in a gruesome war the very people he was trying to please turned their backs to his need of support. We sparked a disgraceful period in our history, a period where our very society was weakened. What must other countries have thought of us when they observed that we were mutinying against the very man we had elected just because he made a few moves we didn’t agree with? We chose him, and we need to stand by our decisions. Perhaps instead of laying the blame on a single party we should share the guilt and learn to not act so rashly in the future. The presidents wrongs are not entirely his own. They are those of the cabinet, the vice president, both of the houses, and most of all us. He only did tings that he saw should be done in our favor. Either way, Bush’s presidency is almost up, so let’s stop the scathing remarks.

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