The Trump administration has created a tornado that has made liberals forget very recent history and lose their minds, saying that George W. Bush is better than Donald Trump and that we should treat him like a hero for making routine comments.
Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration that ordered an affirmative 90-day travel ban on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, as well as a fully indefinite ban on Syria, which has been challenged and rejected by the court system, and caused massive protests all around the country. Not only that, but Donald Trump’s approval rating has dropped all the way down to 38%, according to a Quinnipiac Poll, which embodies the disapproval and disagreement of the American people with the President.
Former President George W. Bush stated in a recent interview with People, “I don’t like the racism and I don’t like the name-calling and I don’t like the people feeling alienated.” And now all of a sudden everyone has forgotten about the horrendous eight years that America faced under Bush’s presidency, one that has substantial evidence to prove that he won the election unfairly.
Neoliberals seem to have forgotten the completely untruthful statement by the Bush administration that Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction that they then used as justification to invade Iraq. The invasion of Iraq led to 134,000 Iraqi civilians being killed according to The Cost Of War Project. The Iraq War was responsible for 4,222 American soldiers’ deaths and 2 trillion dollars of further debt.
But many neoliberals will counter this by saying that “at least George W. Bush wasn’t a racist.” However, I will explain to you why simple platitudes and abstaining from overtly racist rhetoric does not mean that one does not have an inherent bias and lack of concern for African-Americans and their communities.
The Bush v Gore election cycle in 2000 led to a contested case that went to the Supreme Court. In order to win, George W. Bush cheated in many different ways to get enough votes away from Gore. In Florida, the main voters purged or given complex ballots (in which people were almost guaranteed to mark too many votes) were African-Americans.
“Estimates indicate that approximately 14.4 percent of Florida’s black voters cast ballots that were rejected. This compares with approximately 1.6 percent of nonblack Florida voters who did not have their presidential votes counted.[…]Statewide, based upon county-level statistical estimates, black voters were nearly 10 times more likely than nonblack voters to have their ballots rejected.” – The United States Commission on Civil Rights executive summary.
Clearly, the Bush campaign who had many connections to Florida. His brother, Jeb Bush, was the governor of Florida at that time. Jeb Bush apparently decided to target the African-American community because it was likely that they would vote for Al Gore over George W. Bush and people wouldn’t be able to hold them accountable.
“Statistical analysis shows that the disparity in ballot spoilage rates—i.e., ballots cast but not counted—between black and nonblack voters is not the result of education or literacy differences. This conclusion is supported by Governor Jeb Bush’s Select Task Force on Election Procedures, Standards and Technology, which found that error rates stemming from uneducated, uninformed, or disinterested voters account for less than 1 percent of the problems.” – The United States Commission on Civil Rights executive summary
Yes, a vast majority of the spoiled votes were African-American votes and it was not because they were stupid or had no interest, but rather because they were systematically targeted with confusing and ridiculous ballots.
“Approximately 11 percent of Florida voters were African American; however, African Americans cast about 54 percent of the 180,000 spoiled ballots in Florida during the November 2000 election based on estimates derived from county-level data. These statewide estimates were corroborated by the results in several counties based on actual precinct data.” – The United States Commission on Civil Rights executive summary
Clearly, African-Americans were targeted with ridiculous ballots such as the “butterfly ballot,” which led to many Democrats voting for the Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan rather than Al Gore.
Moreover, the idea that George W. Bush was inherently undermining the vote and taking advantage of African-Americans specifically to spoil their votes and therefore win should be an easy indicator that he is not better than Trump.
After the devastating Hurricane Katrina hit, President Bush was criticized for the delay in sending help to the victims. Many Congressmen and government officials criticized Bush for delaying access to help for the citizens of New Orleans. The impoverished districts of New Orleans took a backseat in priority to the Iraq war. According to a report by the Congressional Research Service for Congress:
The hurricane’s impact on New Orleans also took a disproportionate toll on African Americans. An estimated 310,000 black people were directly impacted by the storm, largely due to flooding in Orleans Parish. Blacks are estimated to have accounted for 44% of storm victims. In Orleans Parish, an estimated 272,000 black people were displaced by flooding or damage, accounting for 73% of the population affected by the storm in the parish.
As we see from the facts, African-Americans were disproportionately affected by Hurricane Katrina and, moreover, a vast majority were poor people and George W. Bush did not feel very inclined to make sure that they received help. If there was a hurricane of that magnitude in a city dominated by rich whites who were affected by it, Bush surely would have at least not put the emergency to the backseat of the Iraq war at the time that it happened.
In conclusion, the information is quite clear, George W. Bush was no angel, and he is most definitely not better than Donald Trump at this point in his Presidency by any measure.