As the 43rd President of the United States prepares to leave office – many have asked the question: how will his legacy be viewed by the world?
Of course, prevailing opinion indicates that Bush is the most unpopular President in the history of America, with a record 71% disapproval rating in 2008 (source: CNN/Opinion Research Corp.) – lofty heights even Nixon failed to reach with 66% in 1974.
Even Bush’s dog, Barney, was feeling the heat towards the end of last year – lashing out at a Reuters correspondent as he bent to pat the animal.
Whilst his predecessor, Bill Clinton is often most ‘fondly’ remembered for a rather public sexual misdemeanour, Bush’s legacy is likely to be altogether more unfavourable – war.
The ‘war on terror’, as it has rhetorically become known, was spearheaded by the invasion of Iraq and the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime in 2003.
It didn’t end there though – the subsequent occupation of a country many considered we had no business in lead to a snowball effect which reverberates around the globe today.
Many, perhaps rather over-zealously, view the events of September 11, 2001 as a direct reaction to Bush’s foreign policy at the time.
Later this month, Bush leaves the White House – a war still raging and a global economic crisis in his wake.
Of course, it would be too easy to create a scapegoat for all the woes of the world today – history shows us that a global crisis is usually the culmination of many contributing factors over a long period of time.
However, perhaps we do have something to thank George Bush for after all – for without him the world may not have been truly ready to embrace a Presidential candidate the like of which has not been seen for many, many years.
With many hailing Barack Obama the saviour of the United States (and possibly the world, according to his most ardent supporters) – it will be down to history once again to judge.