International Writers Magazine: It's
Over - Get Used to It
Texas to Illinois:
The Changing of the Guard
will be guided by President Jefferson's sense of purpose, to stand
for principle, to be reasonable in manner, and above all, to do
great good for the cause of freedom and harmony. The presidency
is more than an honour. It is more than an office. It is a charge
to keep, and I will give it my all. Thank you very much and God
(Governor George W. Bush Delivers Remarks, 2000)
Those were the words
that were met with raucous applause from the masses of celebrating Republicans
on December 13th 2000. The President-elect and incumbent Governor of
the state of Texas, George W. Bush, had just finished his acceptance
speech from within the Texas House of Representatives. Coming off the
back of a bitter election rivalry with Democrat counterpart Al Gore,
Bush promised a bipartisan effort on his part to offer the
most universal and benevolent leadership possible. But eight years later,
and in the wake of Barack Obamas successful election campaign,
just what will be the legacy of Bushs two terms of Republican
The blindingly obvious testaments of the past eight years that will
forever remain foremost in the public eye are most likely Bushs
delayed and disorganised response to both the World Trade Centre attacks
of September 11th and the humanitarian disaster of Hurricane Katrina.
The footage of the President reading to a classroom of children as the
news of 9/11 broke will undoubtedly overshadow many moments when conjuring
defining images of his tenure. In the wake of the devastating tropical
storm that hit New Orleans, evidence of Bushs ill preparation
and insufficient delegation of aid is still visible in the recuperating
Louisiana city three years later.
However, in the search for any permanent legacy that will remain in
the wake of George W. Bush, one must look beyond the jurisdiction of
the United States of America. Indeed, at this moment in time it seems
that Bush will be remembered as much for his questionable liberation
of Iraq as with his leadership of America. Founded upon the claims that
Saddam Hussein was harbouring Weapons of Mass Destruction, 2003 saw
a unified upheaval of Iraqi government by invading Western forces. This
mass intervention was, of course, led by Bushs Secretary of Defence
at the time, Donald Henry Rumsfeld. The wide acceptance that the information
that fuelled the invasion was known to be false was not the only travesty
to be beget by the Iraq occupation. Occupation is undeniably the only
suitable term for the current situation in Iraq, as war
insinuates a mutual struggle on the part of two opposed armies; this
has clearly not been the case in the utterly traumatised nation. The
allied forces that subjected Iraq to emancipation from Taliban
rule also failed to deliver an adequate exit plan and are now left knee-deep
in a quagmire of unwarranted deaths and rupturing civil structures.
It will now fall to Barack Obama and his Ministry of Defence to rectify
this chaotic episode of global politics in the post-Bush era.
Then there are the popularly bandied "Bush-isms" that frequently
featured in national tabloids in the wake of many press addresses and
conferences in which Bush unwittingly made a lamentable error of judgement.
Such comic remarks have seen Bush derided not only as a political figurehead,
but also as a social figure, bordering on the "celebrity".
Despite this catalogue of erroneous miscalculations, the legacy of George
W. Bush will be assuredly interspersed with valid and rational decisions
which benefited the people whom he served and proved that he really
did "give it his all". One of the principal examples of Bushs
foresight proving successful was the appointment of Condoleezza Rice
as 66th Secretary of State in 2005. As a successor to Colin Powell,
Rice was the first black American to be sworn in as Secretary of State
and only the second female Secretary of State, following Powells
predecessor, Madeleine Albright.
Bush leaves the White House at a time of great, and well-documented,
economical crisis, taking part of the blame with him. But it remains
to be seen if the potential of Barack Obama will be tested in waters
as turbulent as those his predecessor had to navigate. Certainly, he
will have a thankless task in restructuring foreign policy and financial
support to see, not only America, but the world, through the impending
next four years. It is distinctly clear that improvements can be made
upon Bushs pioneer reign in the 21st century, and Obama has proved
equal to every test of his merit to better the former Texas Governor,
so far at least.
Governor George W. Bush Delivers Remarks. (2000). Retrieved November
31, 2008, from CNN News website: http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2000/transcripts/121300/bush.html.
Hardie Nov 24th 2008
Mike is studying Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth
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