Thanks Bush, You Single-Handedly Paved the Way for Change

    Inauguration Day may be over a month away, but with the president-elect looking more and more like the man in charge, I think now is a good time to talk about the valuable legacy that the 43rd president of the United States will leave as he gracefully exits the stage after a few last-minute pardons and appointments and such. With so much intense focus on Barack Obama, we have read and heard little of how George W. Bush will go down in history, and while many will certainly claim that his reign has been a gargantuan failure, I argue that we have just witnessed his greatest achievement since taking office. Without him none of what we just witnessed would have been possible. Without George W. Bush, we would have no President Obama.

    Let’s start this landscape-altering tale with a brief flashback to the year 2000. That fall, Bush and Democratic nominee Al Gore slugged it out for the title of Most Boring Older White Man in History with Bush declared the apparent winner after a painstaking Florida recount. If I had told you back then that a young, black junior senator from the Midwest would completely dominate the entire electoral map, you would have undoubtedly looked at me like I was out of my head and you would have been right. Even in 2004, when Bush was in the middle portion of his slow, agonizing downward spiral, Democrats continued fielding their candidates without a hint of personality in the form of one John Kerry. It was at the 2004 Democratic National Convention that Obama burst onto the scene with a riveting speech that conjured up more emotion than Kerry could have even if he made his acceptance speech wearing only his swift boat cap. But even at that very recent moment in history the American people were not ready for a candidate like Obama. It would take a man of enormous incompetence to pave the way for such a radical shift in our voting behavior. Lucky for us we already had our man. And he was ready to paint his masterpiece.

    The catalog of failures that is the Bush administration is nothing short of absolute antigenius. In a span of only eight years Bush plunged us into two prolonged wars in the Middle East, eroded our image abroad through torture and a stubborn unwillingness to compromise with anyone, helped to nearly destroy the world’s economy and put our country on the verge of another depression. Despite all this he was also able to make little progress on important issues like energy policy and an overhaul of our Social Security and health-care systems. His lack of progress in any one area is simply astounding. He is obviously on a different level.

    However, all of that pales in comparison to his ability to get Obama elected. It’s not difficult to imagine that Bush was planning this the entire time. I believe that when he took office in January 2001 he set out on a deliberate course of destruction and failure just so he could ready the American people for what was coming — and boy did he exceed expectations. Not only did he get the first black man in American history elected, but a black man with the middle name Hussein who had to beat a woman in the primary just to earn the nomination. He must have just thrown those minor details in there for style points as he rewrote the rules of political maneuvering.

    The educated types will try and claim Obama’s election was simply a culmination of a number of forces that have been at work in our society for generations. They will say it was inevitable that a strong liberal would be elected because of the disturbingly conservative flavor the American people have tasted for nearly a decade. They will say the election of a minority was bound to happen some day as racial and social tensions continue thawing in our land of liberty.

    Their arguments may be backed up by things like research and data, but I adamantly believe that they overlook the work of our current president.

    As Obama made his victory speech in Chicago, the scene was overwhelming. Thousands poured into Grant Park to celebrate a sea change in American history. People of all races, religions and creeds cheered an event that could not have been possible just a short time ago. Many naturally thought of legendary figures from our past like Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar Chavez — men who helped pave the way for such a glorious example of perseverance and willpower. But these men were just passing thoughts in my mind because I was focusing on the man who did the dirty work in order to make this happen. The man who carefully botched his time in the spotlight so that we could all witness an event that some thought impossible in our lifetimes. So I want to be the first to thank the great George W. Bush for sacrificing an entire legacy in order to push our country forward. Bravo, my good man. Bravo.

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