Saturday, March 14, 2009

Alone: The Presidency of George W. Bush

I was reading a news article recently when I saw this picture of Bush walking on the south lawn of the White House. I was struck at how alone he was. I am so used to seeing pictures of presidents surrounded by people that it is startling to see a picture of one alone.

G. W. Bush's policies can be debated, and we may not have agreed with all of them, but we can agree he stuck to his guns. That is a rare quality in a politician, and it earned him hatred and disrespect on all sides. There are few left who truly admire him.

I wonder if any of us really attempt to empathize with him. What must it be like to have literally billions of people hate you and want to kill you; or to have millions of Americans, who once supported you and urged you into a course of action, turn on you later for sticking with it? What must it be like to watch yourself age rapidly over a four year span as the stress takes its toll? How does it feel to leave office and see the next guy immediately start dismantling all you worked so hard to achieve?

To be a president is to be alone, even when surrounded by people. Every aspect of a president's life is picked apart and scrutinized, no decision is ever supported by everyone, and people blame him for things over which he has very little, if any, control. The president has to be a fighter just to get through his term. Frankly, I applaud Mr. Bush for making it through. I have not agreed with all his policies, but he was a man who stood on faith and principle and never backed down. I ask all Christians to pray for the Bush family and to not forget their service to this nation.

Thank you, Mr. Bush. You are not alone.

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