I did it, I survived the Bush years, and I am assuming, since you are reading this, that so did you. First off let me say, congratulations, you made it farther than many others have. But what's more surprising is not that I survived the Bush years, but that I survived them intact, and there is a very good chance that I cannot say the same for you. Sadly, there are just too many reasons for me to believe that I shouldn't have survived these years the way that I did.
First there was 9/11. I am not one to say that this horrendous event was Bush's fault; the reasons for it are many, but what I will say is the administration is at fault for not doing everything that was in their power to prevent it. We know now that they paid no heed to intelligence warnings of an impending attack. Instead they deliberately ignored and downplayed the threat of Islamic terrorism. If they had done what was within their power to thwart the attack, if they had cared, maybe all of those lives could have been saved.
Then there is the unnecessary and horribly mismanaged war, the one built upon a mountain of Bush administration lies. A war that we had no business starting and was not related to 9/11, and they knew this, which is why they had to use deceit to sell us on it. More than 4,200 Americans have died so far in this conflict, young men and women. Another 30,000 have come back home wounded, and a countless number will suffer or have already suffered serious emotional trauma from Bush's meaningless war. Tragic losses each of them, thousands who will never see another day, and thousands upon thousands more who will never be the same because of Bush's horrible decisions.
Of course there is Katrina. Yet another example of how Bush's incompetence and indifference to the suffering of others led to untold pain for many. The lack of response to the impending disaster, even after being warned of it, secured the deaths of over 1,000 Americans, reminiscent of the lack of action during the time before 9/11. And after this disaster, the slow response of the Bush administration and the horrible federal mismanagement has resulted in a New Orleans that is still, in many ways, destroyed.
The most widespread, however, has been the economic disaster that occurred under the Bush administration. Though the reasons for the economic collapse are many, and the Bush administration was hardly the perpetrator of the actual acts on Wall Street that caused the collapse or the ones who created the sub-prime mortgages to begin with, they were the ones able to stop it. Instead of doing so, their flawed political philosophy that believes with religious devotion that the invisible hand of the market will correct any problem, as if it is some sort of benevolent deity, caused them to allow the disaster to happen and even drove them to make it easier for corruption and greed to take over. They may not have been the thieves who robbed the house, but they drove the car that got them there, and as a result millions of American families are struggling to stay afloat. Many others have already lost everything; their homes, their jobs, and are in a state of worry and desperation so extreme that I could not even imagine it. And then there are those who have survived Bush's administration but will still lose everything in the coming months due to Bush's policies, so many lives that would have been much better off if Bush had never taken office.
The end of nightmare that was the Bush years has come and gone, and though the task before President Obama is immense, the clean up after what may be the worst presidency in the history of this great country, his first week in office is beginning to make me believe that he can do it. So let us be thankful that we survived the Bush administration, and even more so for those of us that somehow made it through the firestorm intact, and let's hope that with President Obama, the nation will be able to look back in a few years and say that it too survived the Bush years, as impossible as that may seem.