Opinion: George Bush’s (One) Redeeming Quality

By Ryan Bolton, TRAVIS Editor

Let’s be contentious here shall we? George ‘double ya’ Bush is a megalomaniacal simpleton. No one is going to refute this, well, besides those that Obama denounced as gun-toting, bible-thumping stereotypical small town America folk. But it is well-known that Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, will go down as one of, if not, the worst president in American history.

Bush is a lie-producing machine fueled by greed and oil at the helm of the world’s biggest super power. Period. It just takes credible sources like the New York Times Op-Ed columnist, Frank Rich to support this: “George W. Bush is hardly the wittiest figure in American politics” with the “botched strategy in Iraq.”

President Bush holds Baron Mosima Loyiso Tantoh of South Africa after his statement on PEPFAR funding May 30.

President Bush holds Baron Mosima Loyiso Tantoh of South Africa after his statement on PEPFAR funding May 30.

 

Aside for this, although, Bush has a redeeming, respectable quality in that endless cavern of foibles, lies, and hilarious double-speak that only an ex-alcoholic can conjure. That redeeming quality or attribute – well, it’s not so much an attribute – is a respectable organization that holds great impact in today’s developing nations.

 It’s called PEPFAR.

Haven’t heard of it? No problem. PEPFAR is the acronym for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Established in 2003 in one of Bush’s malapropism-steeped State of the Union addresses, PEPFAR is the largest commitment of its kind in the world to fight the pandemic of AIDS. The program has committed $15 billion over five years to go to battle with the disease. A battle like British land disputes in the 18th century – lined up in flawless rows facing one another.

This is monumental. But more importantly, it’s much needed. Very needed. Currently, there are an estimated 28 million people living with the HIV virus in Africa alone – this number does not include the myriad of AIDS-related deaths over the years. To put this number into perspective, Canada has a total population of just over 33 million. Are you saying, “jay-sus”? because you should be. India, on the other hand, has a growing AIDS epidemic of its own which is seeing an exorbitant of lives lost. Lives, which could be saved – given that AIDS is de-stigmatized and education is spread not unlike the terminal disease. Something that PEPFAR is helping. But “helping” is the operative word.

With a pandemic of these proportions, you need more that just PEPFAR and key notables such as Stephen Lewis and Stephanie Nolen (both are Canadians) and groups like Alive and Well, which band, the Foo Fighters have just gotten behind to support to have an effect on this monolithic life-taking pandemic.

But when it comes to Bush hating, so be it. If you want to play devil’s advocate, however, pull the PEPFAR card. 

Moreover, like those in Africa and India educated yourself more about the AIDS-causing virus and preventive measures. And maybe, just maybe you could look into getting behind an AIDS-fighting organization. It’s easy to start. Just type, “AIDS/HIV organization” into the omnipresent Google.

Also, TRAVIS Magazine made the news for Sheridan’s online newspaper. See it here.

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