Pointing fingers doesn’t solve a nation’s problems

Blind criticism seems to be directly aimed at one man — President George W. Bush.

America has opted to blame the president for the recent economic fallout — along with any other unfortunate circumstance the country faces.

This election season, it’s apparent that a majority of college students don’t have a clue as to why they disapprove of the president. I know some who counter the policies of Bush using reason and logic to justify their claims. However, with many young adults, that’s not the case.

In September 2007, a student was tasered for causing a commotion at a John Kerry speech. After the incident, an editorial printed by Colorado State Univeristy’s college newspaper, the Rocky Mountain Collegian read, “Taser this:  F–k Bush.” The president had nothing to do with the stunning of the student, yet he was unjustly attacked. The unfortunate truth is that many follow this mindset of blind criticism.

Since my freshman year at USF, I have heard nothing but ignorant negativity toward the president. From Sept. 11 conspiracies to rigged election theories, the best defense I’ve heard is that Bush is a liar and an idiot.

It’s fine to disagree, but use facts to support your stance. To claim that the president is an idiot is a baseless statement. I have yet to hear an argument that isn’t based on emotions.

In the midst of this economic crisis, I fail to see how the president is to blame for the economy’s crash. Obviously, oversight for corporations was necessary, but the offense should be charged to Wall Street, not the president. Some are making it seem as if President Bush had fallen asleep and accidentally pushed the red button that says “economic crisis” on his desk, triggering the downward spiral.

Aside from the mess on Wall Street, other efforts to lay blame are hypocritical and unfair to the president. According to the Pew Research Center, at the start of the Iraq war, 72 percent of Americans believed that the use of military force in Iraq was the right decision. By February 2005, only 47 percent believed that. As the number of casualties increased, the blame was placed upon the president and not al-Qaida — the real enemy.

It was not President Bush who signed on for this fight, but America as a country. The 28 percent who opposed the Iraq war from its start can make a logical case, but Congress, voting 77-23 in the Senate, and the president — both with access to the same intelligence — believed that it was the right decision. It was Congress that passed the resolution to “authorize the use of armed forces in Iraq.”

To say President Bush is solely responsible for entering Iraq is simply untrue.

It’s disappointing to see Americans wash their hands of something in which they once believed. Imagine if the country supported Roosevelt for its involvement in a world war and then reneged when the war’s outcome looked bleak.  This generation has lost its sense of committment and damaged not only the president’s image, but the nation’s as well.

The president is not the Messiah — he’s simply a man. And it is unjust to place the burden for a national problem on one man.

The point is that Congress steers the country along with the president. The bill is put together and the president signs it. It’s that simple. Yes, he influences the policies and has vetoing power, but only to a certain extent.

Any good that has come from this presidency has been overshadowed by ignorance and a refusal to attribute any success to the commander-in-chief. America seems to hold Bush responsible for anything and everything wrong in the United States. The country has taken the concept of accountability to an extreme to disrespectfully and unfairly portray the president.

The next generation will eventually have to lead this country. The constant claim is that they want change — with no explanation of what that really is.

America was not built on ignorance and blame. Understanding and a good moral compass was once and should be the core of political insight.

So before pointing the finger, ask yourself, “Do I really know why I believe the president is responsible for the problems in America, or am I just passing the blame along with everyone else?”

Let’s hope your answer isn’t the latter.

Chris Girgis is a senior majoring in biomedical science.