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George W. Bush's legacy
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-01-21 10:04:27
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Over the last few months all the news agencies, blogs and websites have been building up to the day Barack Obama will move in to the White House and George W. Bush will exit the global scene. And it is not only the media, the analysts, the reporters and the columnists; it is the simple people, as well, and as I have often said it is not only the American people but it is people from all around the world.

Expectations are piling among every single citizen all around this world and I have to admit, without being negative, that I hope all this optimism will not turn into disappointment when things will not change from one day to another because I have the feeling that this is what most expects. They expect that the world will become a different place the minute Barack Obama will step inside the White House as the 44th President of the United States ignoring that Barack Obama has not only to deal with what’s left from George W. Bush’s administration but with an international financial crisis and a world that has changed radically over the last ten years.

But there is something that has changed over the last years during and because of the George W. Bush administration and we should never ignore or forget, these last few years have been an awakening to feelings and thoughts of a long asleep. I know it sounds weird but for a long time now I keep thinking of something Jean Paul Sartre wrote a long time ago, he wrote that the most creative period for him was the occupation. I’m not comparing Bush’s administration with any kind of occupation but these last eight years have been unbelievable in many ways regarding basic principles for any democratic mind.

From the lies used to invade Iraq till the prisoners of the Guantanamo and in the name of the war against terrorism violation of human rights they all became a starter, an awakening for a reaction or better for action. We haven’t felt like that since Ronald Reagan’s era but this was worst because now it was not only just politics, it was the real thing. You see, the globalization even Bill Clinton was talking about became strictly a financial globalization working capitalism in its extremes. Succeed or not, it doesn’t matter, what really matters is that they tried and we all saw the results, we all saw millions losing their jobs in the name of a global financial balance and we all felt how it is when in a global economy something goes wrong for one of the partners what happens to the rest, actually we still have to live with these results and face the sequences.

Bill Clinton did a lot of good but at the same time he made us feel comfortable, relaxed, rely on democracy and forget how fragile democracy can be and we twisted some things that can turn. In the name of terrorism, the war against terrorism and the fear the Bush administration sunk everybody for the last seven years we even accepted the loss of basic rights voluntarily. Think of it, we gave up our right to private post, we are all aware that our mail is read, that our telephones eavesdropped, our right to travel freely has been watched and recorded.

But it is not just that, George W. Bush put the blueprint of a very conservative path, so conservative that often went to the far-right side, the scary one, the one that the American society had well locked in history’s closet and in many way I do respect John McCain but he was the one who opened the Pandora’s Box inviting this extreme right to join him in the face with Sarah Palin. Again this was an awakening, a reminder that nothing is over and small things can damage democracy. It was not and is not the threats against Barack Obama’s life it is the sense that somebody is still threaten because of the colour of his skin. It is how easy was for Sarah Palin to accuse a political opposition for been a terrorist and all the rumors that circulated this campaign.

Barack Obama is in the White House this very moment, he is the Chief In Arms, he is the defender of the American constitution that guarantees protection of the human rights but most importantly he has around him to shield him the majority not only of the American people but the majority of the citizens of this earth. Most importantly all these people are there to shield not Barack Obama but to make sure that democracy and everything that democracy means is shield and protected. You see that’s George W. Bush’s legacy, he shown us how fragile democracy is and how powerful the people are when they realize it.

To undo all the mistakes Bush’s administration did will take long time and this is something I have repeatedly written but to succeed that the awaking was necessary and that all generation and all people united to shield this act is unbelievable. The Vietnam generation was there and the hip hop kids were there all of them united finding suddenly a common language and a common aim, shield democracy and whatever happens in the next few years people will not forget and that’s George W. Bush legacy! 

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Emanuel Paparella2009-01-21 13:00:03
Indeed, we ought not forget too easily or it will happen again sooner or later. There is a mess to clean up on the soiled face of democracy. In my opinion, the first thing that ought to be done to clean up such a face is to thoroughly investigate and even prosecute the violations of civil rights, of citizens' privacy and even of the Costitution that went on during the Bush administration. Nothing less than that will restore confidence in ordinary people.

LL2009-01-22 09:03:24
I hope Mr. Bush gets over his depression soon, and takes it easy and relaxes.

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