As we wind up for the elections of 2008 and the political slap fest it entails, I can't but wonder: when the dust settles, how will we judge the Bush II presidency. How will we jot him down in history books, and how will we explain these past 8 years to our children? Because of my age and political experience, this is the first administration I thought critically about from start to finish. This will be the white house standard I will hold all future administrations to (with the exception of my beloved Bill of course, but that was because he was hands down one of the greats. It was not until I started studying his policies that I later realized why.)
In the Washington Post, I ran across an article that addressed this very issue. I don't know how history will judge him, but I feel as though it is my responsibility as a journalist, and more importantly as a citizen to judge his work, his decisions, because it is his decisions that ultimately ripple down to me.
I like most, agree that Mr. Bush has made some poor choices, but I also know after studying those decisions and their effects, he truly believes he is doing the best thing for all of us. But why did he make those choices. I am trying to understand, because his path is not the one I would have chosen. So where is he coming from? Is he really that ignorant, that oblivious to the repercussions of his actions as we in the media have pegged him? I don't think so.
Some of the excepts that stuck me:
"It's a marked difference in his physical appearance," Rep K Michael Conaway (R-Tx.) said. "It's an incredibly heavy load. When you ask men and women to take risks, to send them into war knowing they might not come home, that's got to be an incredible burden to have on your shoulders."
"You don't get any feeling of somebody crouching down in the bunker," said Irwin M. Seltzer, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who was part of one group of scholars who met with Bush. "this is either extraordinary self-confidence or out of touch with reality. I can't tell you which."
"He has a terrific knack of not looking through the review mirror." Conaway said
"There is nobody there who can stand up to him and tell him,"Mr. President, you've got to do this. you're wrong on this.' There's no adult supervision. It's like he's oblivious. Maybe that's a defense mechanism." an ex-aide said.
As great of an ethical excersize as this article was for me, the heart of the issue is someone voted for him. In fact quite a few 'someones' voted for him - agian. If I can't figure out where he is coming from, how will I ever figure out where they are. Looks like I have some research to do. It's not so much how will I personally judge him, I already have; more importantly how will they - the "someones."