Parapsychology Journalism: The People, The Theory, The Science, The Skeptics
Occasionally, the camera panned to George W., sitting in his designated seat, watching a new era unfold. He did not look happy. And why should he? He was looking at what his legacy was about to become: A footnote and trivia question: Who was the president before Barack Obama? The closest match might turn out to be James Buchanan who preceded Abraham Lincoln. Or perhaps he will be thought of as Hoover to FDR. But on January 20th, 2009, one thing was for certain, George W. Bush was looking out at the cheering masses and seeing everything he had squandered. And he was finding himself in the shadow of an African-American President who had already achieved a measure of greatness merely by taking office.
And he was seeing the new president receive something that he could never have. George W. had the power ,the position and all the perks of the Presidency, but the office of POTUS offers one more thing to those who earn it. Barack Hussein Obama has something right out of the gate that George W. Bush could never aspire to receive: the love of the people.
The presidency of the United States is a special thing, like no other in modern history. Just by having this job, -at all-, your place in history is secure. You, your name and your face will be remembered. Do it poorly and you will still be remembered, do a mediocre job and you’ll still be remembered, do a pretty good job and you will be well thought of for ages to come.
But I said that this job was special. Do it extraordinarily well, take the power you are given and do great things with it and the world will take note and hold your memory close to its heart for a very, very long time. They will say that this president was the most special of people; a person we can all look up to. Here was a Great Leader. Of those 43 tenants of the Oval office, maybe three or four are thought of this way.
George W. Bush, like all the men before him who have served in that office, had his shot at greatness. Every president has this opportunity and a remarkable opportunity it is. A United States President has it within his grasp to make THE WHOLE WORLD a better place to live. But for G.W. Bush, sitting in his seat, looking out over the vast crowds all but swooning over the obviously great man being sworn in, it was over. For eight years he commanded respect because of his position, but as of January 20th, that part of his life ended. From now on, whatever respect he gets in the world will have to be earned anew. He certainly brings none with him. And it will be painful for him. Rather than leaving with shoulders held high, he had to duck a couple of remarkably well thrown shoes.
His constituency was always the rich, but they don’t need him anymore and although they will be polite to him, it is not the same as respect. They have moved on. Even the job of figurehead is not guaranteed for him. He was an especially divisive president and many regard him as incompetent. He may be limited to carefully screened public appearances. He no longer has the power of the government behind him, so no one will stop the boos and the catcalls and no one will shield him from the hatred he has earned. Unless he shields himself well, he will be reminded of his legacy for most of the rest of his life.
His future is not secure. He runs the risk of being tried for murder for the rest of his life. He will struggle to defend a presidency which will only look worse as time goes on. Although he amassed millions in his time in office, they do him no good on this front. He cannot buy respect.
He never understood the importance of unity. And now, once more an ordinary citizen, he will start paying the price.