On Election Night 2000, I felt sure that America would elect former Vice-President Albert Gore its next president. As hours turned into endless hours and where Florida who was originally called for Gore and was taken away and given to Bush, my heart sank. It was then declared a toss-up state, but still I went to bed thinking Bush had become our next president. Little did I know or anyone know that it would take 37 days to declare a victor, and not at the hands of the voters, but the Supreme Court. I still remember one passage in the Bush V. Gore case which stated that “No irreparable harm should come to George W. Bush” Little did anyone anticipate how much irreparable harm would come to our country when five of the nine Supremes handed him the presidency.
At this time, I do not wish to hear from any Bush supporters on how I am writing of that contentious election since you have had your eight years and where we were told at one point by Bush’s first Press Secretary, Ari Fleisher, “Watch what you say.” In this past election, the people actually had their say through the ballot box where the outcome was decided by we the people at an early hour. Kudos to we the people who chose to change our destiny.
As I sat listening to former Vice President Al Gore’s concession speech, the only human emotion that came was immense sadness since I like many others poured our hearts and souls into his campaign. I then thought, well it is now over and time to get behind the victor who was now Pres.-elect, George W. Bush. At that moment in time, it was like swallowing a boulder.
In listening to then Pres.-elect, George W. Bush’s acceptance speech, I settled down to hear what he had to say, never thinking of the outcome which will end next Tuesday on Inauguration Day. But, at that time, I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and he was my president.
In the shock and awe that hit these shores on 9/11, again, Bush was my president and I was willing to back him as did many Americans. He had us all in his grasp and stewardship and we rose to the occasion. We were truly a country living our new found motto of “United We Stand”
When I saw months later where he was taking us as a nation, it repulsed me as he started to make his case against Iraq who did nothing to us and had no part in 9/11. To me, he broke a sacred trust with we the people and in my opinion will never gain it back as he fades into the ages.
Like millions I along with two friends took part in the anti-war rally on February 15, 2003 in New York City and we could not understand how the government was not listening and the rest became history, a history which we are still living.
We began to live with words like detainees, torture, rendition and it repulsed a civil mind. We lived through a devastating storm namely Katrina and we could not understand how a city drowned. I have written pieces in the past of aid packages in which the governments of Venezuela and Cuba wished to send us with no strings attached, only through the goodness of their hearts to the American people. What did Pres. Bush do? He said no. No?! One cardiologist who stood ready to come to our aid in Cuba as she sat at Jose Marti airport in Havana stated, “I may not speak English very well, but I have a big heart”, yet this president denied his citizens her aid and care. That still resonates in my mind to this day.
This president let this country go to hell in a hand basket as he spent billions to wage wars, while this country fell apart. Infrastructure in need of repair? Will he repair it? Nope, not going to happen. Millions without health care? Will he deliver his fellow Americans the health care they have a right to? Nope, not going to happen. People paying through the nose for gasoline to fuel their cars. Regulation of oil prices? No, not going to happen. He was after all an oil man. Proud bread-winners finding it hard to feed their families. Aid to these people? Nope, not going to happen. Schools crumbling before our very eyes. Aid to rebuild them? Nope, not going to happen. The list is endless of what he failed to address and fix, only to fill the coffers of Halliburton, Bechtel and KBR. The American people be damned.
As a direct result of this war of lies known as Iraq, our soldiers came home in flag draped coffins, but were not allowed to be photographed for we the people to witness these events. Thanks Donald Rumsfeld for denying us our duty as Americans to pay homage to these brave soldiers.
Images started to come out of Iraq showing the death and devastation that President Bush caused and those images are the nightmares of many. Images of children dead and broken are amongst them and what did they ever do to us, President Bush? Nothing. Not a damn thing!
Our civil liberties trampled upon as you called our United States Constitution “A god damn piece of paper” well it is not, nor will it ever be because brave men sacrificed their lives in protection of that sacred document. President Bush quoted Thomas Jefferson in his farewell speech to the nation and Jefferson like the other founders of this country would be rolling over in their graves knowing how he trampled upon our constitution.
I once wrote a piece titled, The Hemorrhagic Presidency, on July 8th, 2005 to start chronicling the Bush presidency and it as true as it is now today. But, the hemorrhaging of this country did not stop on that day. It continued on.
So much has happened since then and one does not even know if one can list each and everyone. But, there will be historians who will do so. Hopefully, historians who will not white wash these past eight years. The day after this past Election Day, Karl Rove and Karen Hughes started a project to put the best spin and light on Bush, let us hope the truth will bear fruit decades and centuries into our shared futures.
When Hurricane Gustav took aim on Galveston, Texas destroying that town as the Republican National Convention opened with the sound of a gavel calling it to order, President Bush was finally forced to into action to deal with that carnage of nature. As we all know, he never appeared at his party’s convention and most likely there were some who were thankful.