Was George W. Bush a better president than Donald Trump? | The Tylt

Was George W. Bush a better president than Donald Trump?

When President George W. Bush left the office in January 2009, he had an approval rating in the twenties, the lowest of any president in modern history. The country was led into a war with Iraq based on false information, the economy was in a tailspin, and America's international prestige was eroding. But nearly a decade later, Bush's legacy is improving. When compared with a president under investigation for corruption and collusion, and seems to be irreparably dividing the country, Bush seems like a far better leader. What do you think?

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Since the end of his presidency, President Bush has received his most vocal support from an unlikely source—President Barack Obama. 

The two men held diametrically opposed views on many policy issues and President Obama made no effort to hide the feeling that he had inherited a deeply troubled nation. Yet, Obama has consistently praised Bush's love of country and his personal character. Nowhere was this more evident that Obama's statement at the dedication of Bush's presidential library in 2013. 

[W]e also know something about George Bush the leader. As we walk through this library, obviously we’re reminded of the incredible strength and resolve that came through that bullhorn as he stood amid the rubble and the ruins of Ground Zero, promising to deliver justice to those who had sought to destroy our way of life.
We remember the compassion that he showed by leading the global fight against HIV/AIDS and malaria, helping to save millions of lives and reminding people in some of the poorest corners of the globe that America cares and that we’re here to help.
We remember his commitment to reaching across the aisle to unlikely allies like Ted Kennedy, because he believed that we had to reform our schools in ways that help every child learn, not just some; that we have to repair a broken immigration system; and that this progress is only possible when we do it together.
Seven years ago, President Bush restarted an important conversation by speaking with the American people about our history as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. And even though comprehensive immigration reform has taken a little longer than any of us expected, I am hopeful that this year, with the help of Speaker Boehner and some of the senators and members of Congress who are here today, that we bring it home -- for our families, and our economy, and our security, and for this incredible country that we love. And if we do that, it will be in large part thanks to the hard work of President George W. Bush.
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Some argue while Bush was not a good president, he has been an exemplar of how to behave post-presidency. Bush has remained out of the public eye and acted as a unifier in private life. Per the Washington Post

The reason for the recovery of Bush’s approval rating is his post-presidential behavior. As an ex-president, Bush has been exemplary. He has avoided the limelight and stayed out of the political arena. He has not criticized President Obama and, except for very briefly supporting his brother Jeb’s quest for the GOP nomination in Florida, has steered clear of presidential politics.
That is exactly what an ex-president should do. While in office, a president dominates the nation’s political discourse. But after leaving the White House, that time is over, and he or she should move to the sidelines.

His presidency may have been troubled, but he has acted with gratitude and grace in the years since. 

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That said, Bush is responsible for the longest, deadliest American war in the modern era. Not only that, but the war was forged on phony information and maintained by lies. Writer Ross Barkan urges in a piece for the Guardian that we not let the charm of post-presidency George Bush distract us from the real human toll his administration took. 

[H]e caused far more harm to the country and planet than Trump has so far, and maybe ever will. It was under Bush that America invaded Iraq, murdered hundreds of thousands of civilians, and destabilized the Middle East so thoroughly that it may take the entire 21st century to recover.
More than 4,000 American soldiers died. He stocked his cabinet with warmongering neoconservatives far more cunning and apocalyptic in outlook than any of the amateurs who populate Trump’s gang. These were men who dreamed of civilization-annihilating wars and found a president willing to transform their dreams into crackling reality.
The blood on Bush’s hands will never dry. Under the guise of spreading democracy, his administration brought suffering to the world and strangled civil liberties at home. The Patriot Act ushered in a dystopian national security state that was maintained by Obama and bequeathed to Trump. Bush’s economic policies, along with failures by Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, fed the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression.
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While Bush's presidency looks somewhat more positive since Trump's ascension, Dylan Matthews, a writer for Vox, notes that we can't forget his true legacy—decades-long wars in foreign countries which have cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. 

He is also a war criminal who belongs in a cell at the Hague, along with much of his Cabinet. The Iraq War was a disaster of epic proportions that, according to the best estimates, caused the needless death of hundreds of thousands of people. The administration's torture regime was an appalling crime against humanity. Bush's tax cuts were foolish, his Supreme Court picks were bad, and he appointed Federal Reserve governors who were far too hesitant to act decisively to save the economy in 2007 and 2008.

Matthews goes on to describe some of Bush's lesser-known accomplishments. Overall, Bush is still responsible for thousands of deaths. 

FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Was George W. Bush a better president than Donald Trump?
A festive crown for the winner
#BushWasBetter
#TrumpIsBetter