History judges the George W. Bush Administration
Previously published on September 26, 2009
Throughout America's history, several unpopular Presidents have seen their policies vindicated. Although Harry Truman doomed his political career by entering the Korean War and Ronald Regan was embarrassed with plunders like the Iran-Contra scandal, history usually judges these Presidents fairly well.
On the other hand, the social accomplishments of Lyndon Johnson and the silver tongue of Richard Nixon could not save them from absolute public distain. For the George W. Bush Administration, this fate is far more likely than one of vindication.
While critics warned the Bush Administration of long-term failure in their policies, they were able to ride a wave of popularity from the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks until 2005. Despite a pledge to prepare our Country for future terrorist attacks, the GOP President failed to build a disaster relief agency worthy of the class five hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
At the same time, the mismanagement of the War in Iraq soon after revealed far greater incompetence. From then on, most of the Bush polices on national security, the economy, and diplomacy began to confirm the views of critics.
The greatest fault of the Bush Administration was in its execution of policies as it neglected to recognize serious oversights in favor of ideals while disengaging from the world. As a result, the Bush Administration hurt existing friendships with foreign powers and further degraded relations with defiant nations like Venezuela, thus America lost leverage throughout the world.
Meanwhile, the Iraq War created further rifts as it strained resources and left a constant reminder of America's defiance to the International Community; therefore, it gave rogue states like Iran and North Korea, for example, room to pursue nuclear technology.
By the end of the Bush Administration, its shortsighted economic policies further angered the world when it sparked the worst global recession since the Great Depression. Though Conservative Republicans, who more or less still support Bush policies, scramble to blame the often filibustered 2006 Democratic Congress and the Obama Administration for the fallout, the economic failure is clearly connected with the Bush years where it started.
History may fault Democrats for too little action at times and too much at others, but the main responsibility needs to be placed where it belongs, on the Republicans.
Truthfully, the Bush Administration has had successful policies, such as the AIDS campaign in Africa while a global war on terrorism is still necessary to address a very serious threat. To their credit, the Bush Administration did take bold action to address important issues that have often been ignored.
Unfortunately, they either went in the wrong direction with policies or poorly executed ideas, as they often failed to take into account every aspect of an issue due to a lack of engagement and broad misperceptions. Overall, this means history cannot vindicate George W. Bush, as he caused far more problems than he solved in a time when the world was already dealing with a lot of very serious global issues.