George Bush and his influence on History
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George W. Bush is widely remembered as the 43rd president of the United States having served for two terms from 2001-2009. Bush was born on 6th July in New Haven, Connecticut and lived an interesting life that characterized his journey to the most powerful office on the planet. He is also considered as lucky for the fact that his father George H Bush was the 41st president of the United States. Their terms at the helm were separated by the two terms served by Bill Clinton from 1994-2001. Bush graduated from Yale University back in 1968 and went ahead to serve in different capacities before he eventually became president (Ivins & Lou, 2000). He served as a pilot in the Texas National Guard and later enrolled in the Harvard School of business where he attained his MBA. He is actually the only American President to ever get an MBA, especially from such a reputable institution. He also worked in the gas and oil industry until the year 1986 when he got interested in politics and settled on campaigning for his father. He successfully campaigned for his father in a process that ensured George Bush senior was elected as the American president. After this achievement, Bush went to Texas where he successfully vied for the governor’s post in 1994 and 1998. Perhaps as a result of successful stints in politics, Bush declared that he was more than ripe to go for presidency (Ivins & Lou, 2000). The first indicator of a possibility in attaining the presidency was embodied in his triumph during the republican nominations in the year 2000. Bush then chose Dick Cheney as his running mate and they arguably won against Al Gore and Joseph Lieberman, who represented the democrats. Everybody now remembers the election as one that was closely contested with controversial sideshows that characterized the scene. The outcome of the general election and that of the popular votes were totally different but nevertheless, Bush was announced as the election’s winner. The electoral vote favored Bush with a total of 271 against 267 for Al gore. He repeated the same feat four years down the line in the same controversial manner. One remarkable observation about Bush was the fact that his popularity was always on the decline given several contributing factors (Sufry & Serf, 2003). The Iraqi War, the handling of the Katrina Disaster and the economic recession of 2008, were the main factors leading to popularity decline. Bush is also remembered for a closely knit family that consists of a wife and twin daughters. He got married to Laura Welch in 1977 after courting for a period of about three months. Together, they have twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara who were born in 1981. Jenna and Barbara both graduated in 2004, in the University of Texas and Yale respectively. Bush is also remembered for his participation in the organization of Texas Rangers professional baseball team. His participation served as a probable indicator of his worth in regard to issues of management and leadership. The most outstanding incident during his tenure was perhaps the September 11 bombings of the twin towers in 2001. Osama bin Laden and his terror outfit the al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the bombing. Bush then declared war on terrorism and most of his policies were extremely controversial and subsequently caused more harm than good (Bush & Bill, 2004). The whole situation was overshadowed by the Iraqi war, the war in Afghanistan against the Taliban, and the mistreating of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. In association with his closest ally and friend, Bush and Tony Blair, launched several attacks against Saddam Hussein’s government. Iraq was greatly suspected of having weapons of mass destruction in its possession. This led to Saddam’s ousting but the weapons were never found. A closer look at the prospects and policies designed by Bush indicates that he probably had the right intentions at the beginning but most of his designs were eventually hit by uncertainties.
America certainly stands out as the most wealthy and influential country in the world in regard to very many aspects. It is regarded as the watchdog and caretaker of other nations, especially in the developing world. Due to these and many other positions, the country is therefore considered as a world superpower. From this angle we therefore conclude that being able to hold the highest office in terms of power and control, Bush made his first mark as an important figure in the society (Ivins & Lou, 2000). He will thus be remembered for the fact that he ascended to the presidency at the beginning of the 21st century (Bush & Bill, 2004). While in office, it is evident that Bush did implement or show the intention of achieving certain things that would transform the lives of Americans in many ways. The policies and issues he raised specifically touched on both positive and negative dimensions but were still significant. One of the factors that contribute to his acknowledgement is the manner in which certain policies were affected. For instance, Bush was on the frontline in rooting for the acceptance of millions of illegal immigrants into the country. Traditions and constitutional approaches in the US have always been strict and previous leaders were particularly careful in tackling issues. Bush’s character thus qualifies as daring in this case and he shall always be remembered for these feats. He argued that the law was not precisely clear on the issue of immigrants and reasonable measures ought to have been taken to save the lives of millions of people (Sufri & Serf, 2003). He did not support amnesty for this group of people, but he acknowledged that America heavily relied on their services. The country witnessed the highest number of illegal entries in its history during Bush’s first term in office. The issues culminated in the immigrant reform act that took effect in the year 2007 having been written by senators from both sides of the government. The aim was to improve the services of the National Guard at the Mexican border and to also provide avenues that would justify and authenticate the entry of immigrants into the country. Serious reforms were targeted including the revamping of the green card but the president’s intentions were however rubbished by the senate vote. He was again relentless and went for reforms that did not require serious executive considerations in the law. Another landmark activity that was emphasized during the Bush administration, was the attention accorded to educational matters and the general welfare of children. Bush clearly saw the need for balancing the educational abilities of those students perceived to be bright, and that of students believed to be somehow disadvantaged in certain ways. The initiative was dubbed “No Child Left Behind” and it generally received considerable support from both parties in government at the time. Apart from reducing the gap between the poor and rich students through the spectrum of performance, the bill targeted the empowerment of parents from poor backgrounds. The bill also recognized the need for additional funding especially for children in the disadvantaged category. The bill was eventually signed into law in the year 2002 despite heated debates and emerging controversies (Bush & Bill, 2004).
Bush also used his second term in office to bring the biggest reforms to the health care sector. His stipulations ensured that the welfare of a greater part of the population was given due consideration. The Medicare bill composed of measures that would facilitate easier acquisition of prescription drugs by the most vulnerable in the society. Older people and the children were generally targeted in this proposal. When the September 11 attacks took place in 2001, Bush had just occupied office for a few months. Obvious implications suggest that he was supposed to deal with the situation in the capacity of a president (Bush & Bill, 2004). Thousands of Americans lost their lives and the consequences of terror were evidently looming in the entire nation. The terrorists had successfully instilled fear in the masses and the people were yearning for a considerable course of action. He was the first president to ever declare a massive war on terror in many years. Together with his closest ally the British Prime minister, Tony Blair, Bush declared a war on terror and immediately swung into action. He began by targeting several countries in the Middle East that were thought to be supportive of terrorists (Sufry & Serf, 2003). Afghanistan and Iraq emerged as the major casualties of the Bush crusade against terror. He received significant support in the initial stages of his moves from Americans and the whole world in general. However, the same course of action was responsible for his decline in popularity after many people realized that his invasions were not justified. His plans were definitely ill-advised or they included making wrong choices with the right intention. The global war on terror nevertheless made its mark but eventually failed to materialize into tangible effects. For instance, he could not prove that Iraq actually had weapons of mass destruction after a long stint of invasions that resulted in several deaths in the country.
Collin Luther Powell was born in 1937 in New York City and remains an influential figure in the US, in the field of politics and also as a writer (Oren, 2002). He served in different capacities in the US before finally being appointed as the secretary of state by President Bush. Among the positions he served in, was the prestigious military leadership that basically catapulted his recognition on the political scene. He achieved his MBA at the University of Washington after a previous stint of attaining education in public schools at primary levels. He is also remembered as being the one of the few black leaders who had an outstanding say in the Bush Administration. He is a firm leader who is always guided by principle and does not believe in pleasing people at the expense of public matters (Oren, 2002). His good reputation in politics and the military were however stained by his involvement in the Iraqi war. He supported Bush’s war in Iraq but has since regretted his involvement since the war turned out to be worthless. As a matter of fact, he was very close to President Bush and took part in the passing of several policies. He is also regarded as a household name in the US just like his former boss.
George Victor Voinovich was born in 1936 and served in different capacities before eventually serving as the senator for Ohio. He is currently retired and leaves behind a legacy that is worth the attention. He was born and bred in Cleveland where he also began his education. His father was a Serbian while his mother came from Slovenia. He obtained his Law degree at the University of Ohio and went on to become the mayor of Cleveland from 1981 to 1989. He is known for his strict opposition for certain policies that were put forward by President Bush. This is despite the fact that they all belonged to the Republican Party.
Bush was actually born in Connecticut but his parents moved him to Texas at a very tender age. It is therefore appropriate to identify him with the background that is Texas since it then became his home for most of his life. Texas was first founded by Spanish missionaries in the 16th century under unclear social circumstances. Hostile natives and some form of isolation resulted in under population until the revolutionary war broke out. It was previously owned by the Mexican government but a series of wars and revolutions ensured that the US took it away from the Mexicans. By the time Americans took the state from Mexicans in1845, population had undergone significant explosion. The state consists of vast fertile lands in the densely populated regions of the coastal plains, and also mountains in the northwest. The fertility of the entire region is generally favorable for farming and ranching activities. As a matter of fact, this region is known to harbor very rich individuals who own the ranches and big farms in the country state. The economy of the state is basically supported by farming and ranching activities. It is also evident that array of weather pattern do appear in Texas with the driest region being Trans-Pecos. Different precipitation levels in the region’s soils also serve to ensure that the area gets a variety of vegetation. Basically, farming activities take place in fertile conditions.
Bush operated in a historical setting of a place that is believed to be the land of opportunities. The US is the biggest country in the world in terms of economic, social, and other ventures, and other countries look up to it for inspiration. The country commands a big influence in world politics and offers financial assistance to other countries owing to its position in world economics. Americans also expect a whole lot of accountability from their leaders in order to ensure that their country is not led astray.
Figure 1. A photo of former US president George W. Bush
Bush had a great influence in the 20th century in terms of political matters and other related fields. He therefore remains popular amongst the masses in America and also in other parts of the world for the same reason. However, as stated earlier his presidency began on a high note and ended on a low note. The trend is certainly common with many leaders and influential figures in modern societies and this case was not an exception. The economic situation in the United States was brighter in the beginning but after only seven years as president, many aspects had undergone deterioration and destruction. The US had staged a worthy fight to become a world economic superpower by the end of the 20th century by toppling Britain from the position. But by the time the 21st century began, the Bush administration had probably messed up the whole situation. The country had engaged in the most expensive war with Iraq and everything was seemingly in shambles. The banking industry became exploitative and the president only sat and watched. The banks not only participated in predatory tactics of lending but they also included deceitful practices that left everybody in danger. The banks basically preyed on Americans but the president did not take make any effort to salvage the American people. The resultant issue was the loss of homes, and other properties or the threat of being victimized by such dimensions. The war also drove up the general cost of living in the US due to expensive nature and significant allotment of funds. The military was heavily funded at the expense of education, health care, social welfare and environmental concerns (Sufry & Serf, 2003).
Bush was fighting for a good cause in terms of eliminating weapons of mass destruction and stamping out terrorism by all means possible. He will be remembered for that fact and his desire to ensure that the world remained a safe place to stay for every American and non–American. He chose to engage in a just war with the support of other countries. However, this war had negative implications on economical and social aspects of the US, and it serves as the focal point in unraveling major sources of concern in the whole situation. The costs of gas and food were on the rise at a tremendous speed and the Bush administration also had to increase many fees in the country to facilitate the war. Effects of the war and the evident economic downfall all had effects on the welfare of farmers, home builders, and industries. There was a mortgage crisis that reigned in the entire nation in the name of a shattered economy, illegal lending practices, and the Iraqi war. During the mortgage crisis, many American citizens lost their jobs. As a result unemployment rates were at a high and this served as a key indicator of an economic crisis. There were possible beneficiaries of the situation who threatened to rise in terms of the economy, like China, but the American situation was generally controlled. Social aspects in the country were also subject to some upheavals especially after the September 11 bombings in 2001. Fear loomed over the country and it took such a long time for things to go back to normal. Bush responded in the best way possible by putting in place laws that would salvage the situation. In this case, the department of homeland security was founded and reforms were also enforced on the bill of rights. He clearly had an intention of helping out the situation for the sake of all Americans.
I believe that George W. Bush actually made a mark in world politics and his contribution should be recognized even though scrutiny is welcome. He rose to the highest occupation as a result of his deep ambitions and a visionary approach (Mitchell, 2000). This fact is supported by considering that he only took a short time to ascend to that position unlike other Presidents who take a longer route. He reached his zenith at a young age considering the fact that his term and that of his father were separated by President Clintons two terms (Bush & Bill, 2004). In other words he became president a few years after his father. People might argue that his father’s influence had some role in his achievement but evident facts suggest otherwise. Bush employed uncanny tactics and experience gained from campaigning for his father in ensuring that he ascended to the helm. His achievements were however short lived and this gives me reason to believe that Bush never invested his intellectual ability in running the government. He was only driven by passion and belief but never had, or ignored the implications of intellectual ability. As a result he made many unwarranted choices that drove the country into the dangers of collapsing. The Iraqi war and the handling of terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay brought some great deal of bad blood for America in other countries. America was also driven into the biggest economic crisis since the great depression and this can be attributed to lack of intellectual ability that eventually led to the grave mismanagement of a nation.
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