A Former Liberal Says Goodbye to George W. Bush

I didn't always like George.

There was a time I thought of him as a stupid stooge, a man undeserving of power. There was a time I thought he had shattered America's greatest asset -- its democracy.

I had followed every twist and turn in that infamous ballot count, read all the relevant legal proceedings, and felt personally wronged when on December 12, 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the man I voted for. I was so incensed by what I saw as an appointment against the will of the people that I inquired about rescinding my U.S. citizenship. Thankfully, I never followed through.

It was nine months later that I felt American again, and a proud one at that.

As I watched the second plane crash into the World Trade Center, I realized the world had changed forever; that a dark new reality has set in; that the world my children will grow  up in will not be the world of my childhood.

I understood this in seconds and so did George, my old foe. Some have still to grasp this.

On that day, George grew into his role as leader of the free world. Hanging chads no longer mattered when smoke filled the skies of Manhattan. A man not known for his words was saying exactly what I needed to hear. He spoke on that fateful day:

Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.

It was comforting to hear of good and bad, of right and wrong. It was great to hear some answers when all around me were questions. I now know that this strength of George led ultimately to his demise and I am sure that he understood this as well, but by the then the course was set and history is unwavering.