Tuesday, November 4, 2008

To President Bush

8 years ago this week, I cast the first ballot of my life and I did it for you. It wasn't because I hated your opponent or because I liked you, it was because I was raised a Republican and I voted accordingly. I had no idea what you would face or the kind of hell on earth you would be put through as our president. I don't think even you knew the vitriol you would face when you decided to leave your gubernatorial post and run for a higher office. Even if I had known, I would have voted for you anyway.
In these 8 years, I have become a man. I met my wife and married her, received a college education, entered graduate school, welcomed my first child into the world. In these 8 years, you have always been in the background, most often as a hiss and a byword, a bad joke made by comedians with no imagination and writers with no real sense of patriotism. You were the easy joke, like the kid in school that everyone liked to beat up on and tease just to make their goon friends laugh.
I remember vividly the day the towers were attacked. I remember the resolve you showed and promises you made. I remember being afraid that attacks would happen again, maybe even closer to my home next time. Fear for my future and safety was ever present, but in time it faded. The only reason it faded was because you, Mr. President, went on the offensive and hunted the organizations that threatened my safety.
In these 8 years, that was the only attack on my homeland when there could have, and probably should have, been more. Thank you, Mr. President, for keeping me and mine safe.
I haven't agreed with every policy and every decision you've made. I haven't always known who or what to believe when accusations were thrown about by both sides of the political spectrum regarding the reasons behind your choices, but I have always given you the benefit of the doubt because you are my president and I voted for you.
In these 8 years, I watched with sadness as your political enemies and supposed allies used a war to their advantage. Despite that their homes and families were safe, that they had food on their table and clothes on their backs, they still fought against you in the name of their political party. They put the best interest of the nation and her citizens second to their treasonous tactics to gain power. Rather than fighting back at them, you kept your attention focused on fixing our nation's problems to the best of your ability.
I am just a citizen going about my business as best as I know how, and I cannot judge whether or not you performed your sworn duty to the best of your ability. It's common to hear the saying that only history will be an accurate judge of someone's presidency, but knowing who writes our history books, I'm not sure that I agree. I assert that only God and you will truly know. So I will trust that you did.
Today we as a nation stand on the brink of electing a man who I did not vote for. Many say that his election is a direct result on your unpopularity. So be it. I only hope that he will perform his duty to protect me and family as well as you did, that he will pick up your mantle and continue to hunt our enemies to the ends of the earth so they can never harm us again, that he will continue to make it possible for me to provide for my family so long as I work hard, and that he will put America's interests before his own. Thank you, President Bush.
Thank you for enduring the harsh treatment of media, pundits, and entertainers, their hypocrisy and venom, the disloyalty of the members of both the opposing party and your own. Thank you for your efforts to help improve education, employment, and our country's problem with immigration. Your efforts may not have been perfect, but well-intended. Thank you for caring about America more than your own image. I hope history will be kinder to you than the present is.
Mr. Obama, you have large shoes to fill. Don't stumble.


Rosalee said...

Thanks, Jake. I couldn't have said it better myself. You have quite a way with words, a way that I admire. I've always thought that Bush was doing the best that he could considering the circumstances. Thanks for the post.

Carol said...

How come my comment from the other night didn't post? I'm too tired to write again. Probably wouldn't remember what I had written anyway if I tried. Suffice it to say,"Bravo, Jacob."

shiloh said...

This may be my favorite piece you have written. I have felt for several years now that it is shameful the way people mock and abuse the name of a man (and a family) who has sacrificed a lot for our country. I think too many people fail to consider the kind of pressure and difficulty that would come from such a high profile position. Yes, he chose those things when he chose to run for office, but everyone is subject to imperfection and mistakes. Unfortunately, his are advertised and replayed all over the world. I personally am grateful that an honest, God-fearing man was willing to step up to the plate in the face of adversity and do his best. While times may be "worse than ever" now, I still have a job, food on the table, a roof over my head, and sleep peacefully at night.
Jacob, thanks for writing this.

lori said...

Thanks for this, Jacob!

I'm glad that respect is alive and well in a few of our nation's homes!