Q&A Friday #9: How Will History View Bush?
Question: “How do you think this country/the world will remember George W. Bush and his Administration? Will he be criticized in history books or celebrated?” — Rooster349
Answer: It’s impossible to give a complete answer to this question not only because Bush’s term hasn’t been completed yet, but because oftentimes events that happen AFTER a President goes out of office reflect on his Presidency.
For example, some of the luster from the Gulf War, the most notable achievement of Bush 41’s presidency, has rubbed off since we had to go back into Iraq. Furthermore, after 9/11, Clinton’s failure to take significant action against global terrorist groups and the fact that he turned down Sudan’s offer to hand over Osama Bin Laden, put him in an unflattering light. On the other hand, Reagan’s place in history was elevated immeasurably when the Soviet Union collapsed in Bush 41’s term, largely because of the Gipper’s efforts.
Now, has Bush done some things that could make him stand out in the history books? Absolutely. I think in large part, when all is said and done, Bush will be judged on how the war on terror plays out. Will Iraq and Afghanistan eventually become stable democracies? Will freedom spread across the Middle-East in the next few years? Will there be other major terrorist attacks in the US? Can we get Iran and Syria to stop supporting terrorism? Can Bush get North Korea out of the business of building nuclear weapons? Will there be more 9/11s — or worse — in the next four years?
Then there’s the rebuilding of the military, Social Security reform, tax reform, medical reform, tort reform, helping the GOP become the dominant political Party in the US…there are so many different things that can be remembered long after the petty political issues of the day are forgotten.
So could Bush be looked at as a “great President” one day? Sure, but we may be more than a decade out from getting an idea of how history will view him…