Republicans often like to say that President Obama has somehow made the United States “less safe.” Though they can’t really pinpoint how he’s done that, it just makes for a good soundbite to a bunch of conservative voters who rarely like to think for themselves.
But if these people want to talk about feeding terrorism, or making us “less safe,” they don’t need to look any further than their good pal George W. Bush and his administration. No grouping of people has done more damage to the United States internationally (and domestically for that matter) than they did.
I have a friend who lived abroad from 1998-2006. He told me about how in 1998, when he first moved, many people abroad were happy to meet Americans. He had no trouble making friends and his nationality didn’t really carry any kind of negative connotation.
But he also told me how that quickly deteriorated during the Bush years. He noticed how being American he was more despised and judged. How he felt less safe.
And it makes sense. During Bush’s years in office he made other countries absolutely hate us. And why wouldn’t they? We invaded Iraq while essentially telling many of our key allies who opposed our actions that we didn’t care what they thought. Then when all was said and done, everything we promised we had gone to war for turned out to be a complete lie.
Then to top it all off, members of the Bush administration boastfully admitted to committing war crimes.
But then there was the general arrogance and stupidity that almost always seemed to surround the Bush administration. If a president can’t do anything else, he at least needs to be able to stand behind a podium and give a decent speech. Bush couldn’t even do that. He made every American seem like a bunch of bumbling idiots in cowboy hats, struggling to complete even the simplest of sentences.
And as Bush’s actions further alienated us from our allies, and the horrors from Iraq continued to mount, that is when the United States was weakened. That’s when terrorists were given more power.
Because nothing recruits for terrorism and weakens a nation quite like invading another country based on a lie, killing tens of thousands of innocent civilians within that country, then admitting that you ordered your military to commit war crimes.
And that’s exactly what the Bush administration did.
So the next time one of these Republicans says Obama has weakened the United States, remind them that no, that was actually the guy they voted for - twice.