Okay, so, President Bush isn’t the greatest president but I needed a catchy title. In fact, there are many who consider him one of the worst presidents – ever in history. [Here’s my take why he may be considered as one of the “worst presidents.”]
While I don’t believe he is the worst president [per the Rolling Stone article], he certain has missed the mark on numerous fronts and history will not be kind to him. But having said that, I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be to be in that kind of position of leadership. While I vehemently disagree with him on several fronts [particularly the ongoing war in Iraq], I have developed a certain level of respect for him as he handles potshots, insults, lowblows, constant criticisms, and blame for all the woes and ails of everything between A to Z.
Since we all know that there’s going to be an increase in conversations about his failures as president, I thought it would be good to point out some notable figures who recently have praised George Bush for his commitment to Africa.
Here’s Bono re: the president’s concern for “AIDS treatment, malaria prevention, education, and multifaceted economic development”:
President Bush has every reason to be proud of what he and so many others have accomplished in Africa. From AIDS treatment once thought impossible, to millions of bednets to keep kids from dying of a mosquito bite, to new African jobs created with trade policy, to billions in old debts erased. And back in Washington, a political shift has taken place with Democrats and Republicans working shoulder to shoulder to partner with people of Africa as they work to lift their continent out of poverty, putting 29 million children in school in the last five years, with the help of debt cancellation.
Some will quickly say that more could and should be done…But we should also acknowledge that much less could have been done. We should celebrate whenever good and beautiful things happen in this world, and President Bush has done some good and beautiful things for Africa. Kudos to him, and to all members of Congress of both parties – and to all Americans who can feel good that a portion of our taxes are being invested in this way.
More from Bono,
These are accomplishments the next president must build on. … I hope that the next president, whoever that is, will get to experience firsthand this beautiful and entrepreneurial continent that is rising to all of the challenges being sent its way.
Some additional thoughts from Bob Geldof, the Irish rock star/social activist [architect behind Live Aid concert in 1985 which raised money for debt relief for poor African countries] and who continues to be invested in Africa:
Mr. Geldof praised Mr. Bush for his work in delivering billions to fight disease and poverty in Africa, and blasted the U.S. press for ignoring the achievement [Washington Times]:
Mr. Bush, said Mr. Geldof, “has done more than any other president so far…This is the triump of American policy really,” he said. “It was probably unexpected of the man. It was expected of the nation, but not of the man, but both rose to the occasion.”
“What’s in it for [Mr. Bush]? Absolutely nothing,” Mr. Geldof said.
Mr. Geldof said that the president has failed “to articulate this to Americans” but said he is also “pissed off” at the press for their failure to report on this good news story.
Consider these words from Brian McLaren:
Let’s also pause a minute to pray that our next president and Congress will continue and expand what’s being done. The pain and need in Africa are so great that it will take governments, businesses, churches, NGO’s, individuals, and intergovernmental agencies, all doing their best – assisted by the powers of heaven – to make substantial and ongoing progress. Thanks be to God for the good that has begun to be done. God bless Africa.
I’m not suggesting that we give President George Bush a free pass. But while many are chomping on the opportunities to hurl their final shots, I think it’s worth highlighting his leadership with an intensely difficult environment in Africa. And may this be a reminder to us that while we aren’t to place our ultimate Hope in our worldly leaders, we are nevertheless invited to lift them in prayer. So, whoever the next president may be, may we hold him or her in prayer and accountability for the great and burdensome work ahead.
And lastly, we must not release ourselves from our personal responsibility. Will you do your part to fight extreme global poverty?
And now that I’ve praised him, here’s why I think he may go down as one of the worst presidents. The answer can be spelled out with four letters: I-R-A-Q.