The best thing George W. Bush did in his political career was to stay the fuck away from the limelight after his unfathomably disastrous presidency.
Having decimated the entire global economy and sent half the Western world into two un-winnable conflicts in the Middle East that plunged the region into murderous chaos, the least Bush could do was not show his face in public for a good few years.
But now Bush is being hailed as a statesman with his latest appearance alongside President Obama at a memorial service for slain officers in Dallas. Why? Because he now wants Americans to be 'civil' towards each other, and apparently doesn't like Donald Trump very much.
“At times, it seems like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together,” said Bush to the audience at the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas
“Argument turns too easily into animosity," he went on wistfully. "Disagreement escalates too quickly into dehumanization. Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples, while judging ourselves by our best intentions.”
This was of course a sly jab at Donald Trump, the man who made his little brother cry during the GOP primaries.
While it's all fine and dandy that Bush wants everyone to get along now, it is worth remembering that his administration dedicated 8 long years to exacerbating racial tensions in America, wrecking minority communities and the poor with extreme conservative economics, leaving African Americans to drown during Hurricane Katrina and doing virtually nothing to enforce civil rights. Bush couldn't even be bothered to address the NAACP during his first term -- the first President not to do so since the 1930's.
By almost every single measure, Bush's presidency was catastrophic for America, and particularly bad for minorities. He made the country poorer, more divided and more prone to the violent flare ups we see today. And worse than that, he paved the way for monsters like Donald Trump to emerge in the massive intellectual vacuum he created.
"People forget what an extraordinary thing it was that Bush was president," wrote Matt Taibbi recently. "Dubya wasn't merely ignorant when compared with other politicians or other famous people. No, he would have stood out as dumb in just about any setting."
Without George Bush, there would be no Sarah Palin, no Herman Cain, no Michelle Bachmann and certainly no Donald Trump. Bush wore his anti-intellectualism on his sleeve, flaunting his disdain for the English language, disregarding nuance and replacing thoughtfulness with 'gut decisions'.
"Rarely is the question asked:Is our children learning?" George Bush once said in reference to the nation's eduction standards.
No, not with fuckheads like him leading the country.
It is entirely possible that Donald Trump would be worse than George W. Bush as a president, but as Bush's extensive record of screwing up pretty much everything shows, it would be an incredibly difficult act to follow.
So yes, let's give Bush a round of applause for saying nice things at a funeral. But let's not forget the awful job he did as president or forgive him for creating the perfect conditions for the godawful mess we're in now.