By Alexander Dishman @XANDERDISHMAN
George W. Bush is often regarded as one of the worst presidents in U.S. history. From the destruction of a budget surplus handed to him by Clinton to the increase of government authority, all culminating in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. There is not much, if anything, that can be done to salvage his legacy.
This is because his legacy went down in flames when the Twin Towers were reduced to rubble and smoke.
Ultimately, he made his choices and he bears the responsibility, but there is merit to be found in exploring the motivations behind his actions, chief among them being the 9/11 terror attacks.
The nation was made more vulnerable than ever before and the people plead and cried for action. Wanting to be assured they would not have to realize the helplessness of only being able to watch in horror as a plane barreled down on them from above.
Of course, there was no way to guarantee to the American people that they were safe, that illusion was gone and never returned. But the president had no choice but to try, and that was his burden.
Evidently he made all of the wrong choices, and his tenure was a blight upon our history and an embarrassment the Republican Party cannot fully wash themselves clean of.
If Al Gore was elected in 2000, and later John Kerry in 2004, maybe the tragedy would have been handled more effectively and more efficiently. Maybe the damage to both the economy and the morale to the American people could have been managed to a better extent.
But there is no real way to be sure of what decisions should or would have been taken. While others can assume, there is no way to be sure of what other candidates would have done in the heat of the moment, amid the turmoil and devastation.
In the end, it is unlikely Bush’s presidential term would have been a beneficial or favorable time for any candidate during this period. Any president would have had their legacy marred by this blatant assault on the American way of life, coupled with the gross negligence of a myriad of federal security departments.
The fact that we are still standing, still fighting, still growing is nothing short of a testament to the strength and patriotism of the American people, but the blame put on the man at the top for all the anguish we have suffered is unjust.
He certainly deserves a sizeable portion of ridicule, but the real fault lies with the 19 hijackers, with the terrorists still out there who want nothing more than for the American way of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to fade into the ashes of the Twin Towers.
Who knows what his presidency would have looked like had the Towers survived into the modern day. He could have been a great president, but he never got that chance. Instead, his legacy went down along with the Twin Towers on that Tuesday morning in September of 2001.