Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The (Potential) Legacy of George W. Bush

I realize that a Venn diagram of readers of the Atlantic and readers of Fear Goggles looks something like this, with blue and red representing the respective demographics:
, but I want to spread this message:

Jeffrey Goldberg has a great idea for President George W. Bush:

In this generous and visionary statement can be found the seed of an important task for ex-President Bush. I would hope -- especially now that he is finished writing his book -- that he would speak out for Muslim enfranchisement in America, in particular in the wake of the "Ground Zero" mosque controversy. He should let American Muslims know that he accepts them as equal citizens under law, and that all Americans, but particularly members of his own party, should do the same. This is an important task, and I believe that George W. Bush is the best man for it.
Andrew Sullivan points to a precedent quotation from the former president from Everything2:

When we think of Islam we think of a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world. Billions of people find comfort and solace and peace. And that's made brothers and sisters out of every race -- out of every race. America counts millions of Muslims amongst our citizens, and Muslims make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country. Muslims are doctors, lawyers, law professors, members of the military, entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, moms and dads. And they need to be treated with respect. In our anger and emotion, our fellow Americans must treat each other with respect. Women who cover their heads in this country must feel comfortable going outside their homes. Moms who wear cover must be not intimidated in America. That's not the America I know. That's not the America I value.
I know President Bush claims to want to let history decide how he is remembered, but history will surely view him more favorably if he continues to say thoughtful, powerful, and wonderful things like the aforementioned quotation, like the request from Goldberg than if he does not.

My respect for the man (and my interest in reading his book) certainly increased when I read that quotation.