Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Worst Ever?

Almost a year ago I was sitting at a ferry dock with our high school youth group on our way to a retreat when I had an interesting conversation with a high school senior (we'll call her 'Leslie') and another leader (we'll call him 'Dave'). It went like this:

Leslie: Oh gross! A 'John Kerry' bumper sticker! I hate him.
Me: You actually 'hate' him?
Leslie: No, I just like Bush a lot, so I dislike him. You guys like Bush, right?
Me: No, I don't. To be honest, I think he's probably the worst president America has ever had.
Dave: I think the exact opposite of that.
Leslie: Me too!
Me: Really? Why?

And then this is where you get fourteen (and counting) straight months of total silence from them both.

Now to be totally fair, I didn't expect much. I knew Leslie essentially was just repeating what her parents had told her and in conversations with them I know they really don't do anything but repeat whatever they hear Bill O' Reilly and Sean Hanity and local right wing radio people like Kirby Wilbur and John Carlson say. If you ask them something that they don't have the talking point for they almost literally run away.

Dave isn't much different. We have had a few brief conversations about stuff, but he isn't much different than Leslie's parents. I even e-mailed him after the weekend and asked him to enlighten me. I even was willing to make no responses at all - I didn't want an argument, but it just did not make any logical sense to me, that even if you supported and wanted Bush re-elected that you would actually think he was the BEST president in America's history.

I'd almost forgotten about all of that until this piece reminded me of it:

What keeps coming back to me is that amazing list of Bush's 'accomplishments'. The job losses, economic decline, squandering of the world's good will after 9-11, misleading about why to go and attack and occupy Iraq, failing to finish the job in Afghanistan, blowing the budget surplus, tax cuts for the rich, destruction of freedoms through the Patriot Act, and on and on and on.

I am not pretending that anyone has a reasonable chance of making me a Republican or in a real miracle, a Bush supporter, but I still have to wonder - what has he done that makes ANYONE believe he is even a good president? I still want to know. I don't need to hear why he is a better choice than John Kerry or Al Gore - that is yesterday's news. I want to know what possible reason anyone would have to believe that in the history books he won't go down as a disastrous presidency?