It will be several years before anyone will be able to objectively evaluate George W. Bush’s presidency. However, there are several positive aspects to his eight year term.
We should all thank President Bush for faith based initiatives. This was a program long overdue. He knew that government programs have limitations. He recognized the fact that many private organizations were doing a wonderful job of reaching the poor and they could use a financial boost. His former speechwriter Michael Gerson recalls, “He (was) deeply committed to the idea of helping the poor through community and faith-based institutions.”
Despite the criticism of the war, no one can deny the President Bush was very concerned about terrorism. It must have been extremely difficult to be the leader of this country on Sept. 11, 2001. He rose to the challenge. He took charge. He spoke to the American people, calmed us, and assured us that everything was under control. His administration has prevented subsequent terrorists attacks.
We can appreciate his stance on embryonic stem cell research. He fought the science community long and hard on this one. His unwavering position on this proved his commitment to life. He understood that life begins at the cellular level and should be protected even then. Federal funds, our tax dollars, shouldn’t be used on such controversial research. He supported adult stem research and great strides have been made in this area.
Many point to the flaws of “No Child Left Behind.” However, there seems to be some solid evidence for school improvement since its implementation. According to the nonpartisan Center on Education Policy, 21 of the 27 states studied showed moderate to large gains in math at the elementary level, 22 showed gains in reading and math at the middle school level and 12 states showed reading and math improvements among high school students. The National Assessment of Educational Progress, reported improvement in 31 of 33 states examined. Schools have improved since the inception of NCLB.
President Bush is very proud of his humanitarian efforts and with good reason. He recently received the first International Medal of Peace for his efforts in fighting Aids. Pastor Rick Warren said, “No man in history, no world leader, has ever done more for global health than President George W. Bush.”
Many will point to President Bush’s shortcomings. However, his accomplishments are significant and cannot be denied.
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Lori Shultz has a Master degree in education. She has been active in politics for 17 years – as a school board member, Republican Women’s president and as the County Republican Chair.