(Okay, so this is a few days late. I meant to post something on President’s Day itself, but life got in the way. Also, it’s still within the same week, so better late than never, right?) So, without further ado, a thank you letter to my favorite Bush:
Thank you, George W. Bush, for your service to our country. I know that some people (maybe a lot of people) thought that you weren’t the brightest bulb in the box. Or that they didn’t agree with your policies. Or that they blamed every single bad thing that happened during your two terms solely on you. I don’t care about any of that. And you know why? Because you always made me feel safe. I never once doubted that you cared deeply for the people of this country – every single one of us. And you made me laugh (in a good way).
I was in eighth grade when the Twin Towers were struck. And even though my personal life was not affected (I didn’t lose anybody in the attacks) those acts of terror left a deep impression on me, as it did the entire nation. Your quiet strength and resolve when addressing the country for the first time after the attacks, and in the days that followed, had a deep impact on me. It helped me to feel safe, even in the face of such uncertainty. You brought the country together in a time in which we greatly needed it, and I am so thankful that it was you who was serving during those difficult days. I truly believe you were the right person for the job at the exact right time.
As far as for making me laugh, you were just a genuinely funny guy without even trying to be. I think so much of what made you so personable was your ability to be able to laugh at yourself. From having a shoe thrown at you, to taking all the political jokes in stride, to the phrases that only you could utter, you were just a regular guy who didn’t take himself too seriously; you were humble and self-deprecating – more qualities that we could use today. You still have that same ability, as was evidenced in your epic poncho battle on election day. On what was one of the darkest political days for me, your struggle with that poncho and your good-naturedness about it, brought unexpected joy to my heart.
Finally, yours was the first presidential election that I was old enough to follow and that I have concrete memories of. Though I was still years away from being able to vote, you helped instill in me a love for our government and the electoral processes. A love that endures today, even through very difficult political times.
So again, I just want to say thank you for being you. For having a positive impact on my life. For having a positive, lasting impact on this country.
P.S. I miss you…the country misses you.