Guest Author - Linda Sue Grimes
Quite possibly Washington, Lincoln, and FDR are widely noted and remembered because of the times in which they lived and served, the great foment of activity that surrounded their presidencies: Washington and the first presidency, Lincoln and the Civil War, Roosevelt and Second World War, plus the New Deal following the Depression of 1929.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Any in depth study of each president reveals both strengths and weakness that most citizens never know. Presidents who have gone down in infamy such as Herbert Hoover because he happened to be president when the stock market fell in 1929 or Richard Nixon, who made the mistake of helping cover up the break-in at the Watergate Hotel, still have their successes that have actually benefited the nation.
Nixon was especially astute in foreign affairs and engaged our nation with China in a way that his predecessors did not. Quite possibly our nation’s friendly relationship with China today is due to President Nixon’s political acumen in the area of foreign affairs.
George W. Bush: One of the Most Important Presidents
Our current president will not be one easily forgotten by history; he will not be relegated to the dustbin along with such names as Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, or Calvin Coolidge. Of course, if we study these presidencies we’ll find things to admire about these presidents, but not much comes to mind about them to the average citizen trying to recall presidencies.
George W. Bush will take his place among the most important presidencies for two reasons:
1. The foment of activity involved in this presidency because of the 9/11 attacks and the War on Terrorism. 2. This president will be remembered as true service-oriented public servant.
“Son, you did a good job”
President George W. Bush works from his deep faith in God. He wants to please God, not only himself. Bush has stated that when he stands before God’s judgment, he wants the Creator to be able to say to him, “Son, you did a good job.” He chose to run for public office, both as governor and then as president out of a sense of duty, not for self-aggrandizement.
President Bush also wants to please his earthly father and make him proud of him, and that is not a bad thing, if accomplished with honesty and integrity. And this president is an example of both honesty and integrity, along with his friendly personality.
Before I started researching Bush and his presidency, I had heard the winds of gossip that one picks up: he’s stupid, he never reads, he can’t speak English properly, he shirked his National Guard duties. After researching I found out that he had graduated from Yale with a degree in history, and Harvard with an MBA. I also found out that he reads quite a lot, including Natan Scharanasky’s The Case for Democracy, which further solidified for him that the spread of freedom was the answer to terrorism.
I happened to see an old clip on TV where he conflated the words “misunderstood” and “underestimated” into “misunderestimated”—he caught the error, and then made a joke about it, and he has done that on other occasions. He’s willing to admit his flaws and also willing to correct himself: he says Laura speaks better English than he does. However, he also speaks Spanish, a fact his critics never mention.
In the Texas Air National Guard, he trained for 55 weeks, learning to fly the F-102 Delta Dagger Interceptor. He and a friend wanted to join a special unit called “Palace Alert” which would have meant replacing active-duty pilots in Vietnam, but when they expressed their interest to Col. Jerry Killian,the told colonel them the program was being phased out, and besides Bush and his friend had not logged enough hours to be eligible for that program. So this so-called slacker had the presence of mind to acquire the skill for flying fighter planes and the will to go Vietnam to fly them.
I also learned that his speeches are not just the words and ideas of speech writers; he actually works on them himself actively participating in revising and perfecting them.
Taking Service Seriously
So the more I learn about this president, the more I respect him. Unlike the Clintons (and many others who would aspire to the highest office in the land), George W. Bush is not an opportunist nor a poll watcher; he actually takes his service seriously. Despite recent polls and inaccurate reporting by his opponents engaging in over-emotionalism and demagoguery, this president will be recognized in history as one of the most successful.
For more information about George W. Bush, I recommend the president’s autobiography A Charge to Keep, Bill Sammon’s Misunderestimated, Russ Kessler’s A Matter of Courage, David Aikman’s A Man of Faith, Fred Barnes’ Rebel-in-Chief, or any other useful source that accurately describes the character and service of this president.
Unfortunately, many people who denigrate George W. Bush and try to besmirch his accomplishments know little about him. To those who think they know this man from mainstream media reports, network newscasts, and left-wing blogs: I challenge you to read the sources suggested above before you make your final decisions and especially before you engage others armed with inaccuracies and insults.