I spent this weekend in Chicago. I didn't get to do a ton of stuff because of the bitter cold, but I did get to go out and enjoy a bit of city life. I love being in big cities, but I'm not entirely sure whether or not I would like to live in one.
Being that this is the weekend before the Presidential Inauguration, and being that the President-Elect is from the Chicago area, there was definitely a lot of buzz around the city. The majority of it was positive, people looking for the promised change, but there was a good share of negative talk.
Even though I didn't vote for Obama, I do recognize that the majority of the country did, and so I recognize him as my president. There are a lot of anti-Obama people out there that just want to see Obama fall flat on his face and fail. They want to make a fool out of him. And even though I understand their frustration, I don't support what they're saying.
The election is over and Obama will be our president. While I have my doubts about all the change he claims he'll make, I can't help but hope he will succeed. Our country is going through a really rough time and Obama's got a big job on his hands. I don't want him to fail. If he fails, our country fails. I hope he gets in that office and turns things around. I hope he proves my doubts wrong and ends up being a great president.
Inauguration day also means the end of President Bush's term. I know that Bush has a really low approval rating right now and that a lot of people are mad at him, but I can't help but feel proud of him. This guy had such a hard job to handle. I can't even fathom the pressure he's been under for the past eight years. There are people, especially in the media, that just love to focus on all the things he's done "wrong," but always leave out the things he's done right.
Even though it was only a little over seven years ago, people seem to forget that our country was attacked. They also forget that the terrorists that made this attack promised to do several others. But there has not been another attack on this country since. Bush made sure to take extreme action against an extreme threat. People may think his actions crossed the line, but we have to remember that we didn't know where the line was. This was a new and scary situation for the US, and Bush made sure it didn't happen again. I think that years from now, when information that is currently classified is released, we're going to see just how lucky we were to have Bush in office for these past eight years.
And there are things about Bush that you never hear on the news. Like how he has done more for the AID epidemic in the world than any other leader or person ever has. In 2003, he implemented the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) which has saved about 10 million lives. I've never heard anything about this awesome program on the news, it took a blog posting by Cameron Strang, the editor of Relevant Magazine, to inform me about it. President Bush discussed this program with Rick Warren, the pastor of Saddleback Church, and Strang pointed out some of the highlights of the interview.
I'm not saying that everybody should instantly be in love with Bush, but I think people should look at him more fairly. Did he make some mistakes? I'm sure of it. But I'm also sure that he did what he thought was best for the US and the world. And now, he's being called a murderer and being portrayed as an awful human being. If you want to know how compassionate and just President Bush is, go talk to an Iraqi citizen who is tasting freedom for the first time or someone in Rawanda who is alive despite all odds.
The United States is blessed with great leadership. It's far from perfect, but it still is great. And regardless of who sits in the oval office, I'm glad that I live in a country that allows free elections and, more importantly, the peaceful passing of power.