The Instigator
Con (against)
4 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

Was George W. Bush the worst president in history?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/9/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,150 times Debate No: 38710
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




The first round is only acceptance.

Let me say that this is - and will be - a very opinionated debate. Don't be ashamed to debate your opinion - that is why we're here - but back it up with some form of fact: a poll, a survey, etc.

I am in the position that George W. Bush was not the worst president in history. I am curious to know why any one would disagree with this.

Thank you - and may the voters decide the winner.
Debate Round No. 1


May I ask what you mean by 'troll'?

Anyways, whether you are going to provide a legitimate argument or not is besides the point. I'm going to prove my point.

Now, many people claim that George W. Bush was the worst president ever. Many folks blame him for two 'unjustified' wars, a poor economy, and for just being 'dumb'. I am going to prove these points wrong - or, at least, compare Bush to other presidents who made poorer decisions.

When Bush got elected in 2000, the economy was doing well - we had just experienced our third year of budget surplus, and we were looking forward to many more bright years. Because of this domestic success, Bush wanted to focus his concerns on domestic issues - education reform, etc.

During the first few months of Bush's presidency, the future seemed somewhat bright. At least until 9/11.

Bush was at a school in Florida, symbolizing his desire for education reform, when the two planes hit the twin towers.

That day changed the course of Bush's presidency. He went from being a domestically-concerned president to a wartime president.

This 40-minute documentary is one that capture Bush's emotions on that day, and what he did to ensure that America kept calm. I will sum it up for you:

Basically, George Bush was advised to keep out of Washington, DC on the day of the attacks. They flew him all over the country to make sure he was secure - Louisiana, Nebraska - but he wanted to return to DC to give a speech from the Oval Office. He wanted to show the American people that he was brave - and so should America.

And, despite much opposition, he returned to Washington, DC and gave a speech on the very day of the attacks.

This is the quality of a good leader, in my opinion. He was brave, and bold, and wanted to set an example for the American people.

"I damn sure wasn't going to give a speech from some bunker in Nebraska. I wanted to give it in the capital."
- George Bush, from this documentary

This is something that speaks to me.

Now, many people claim that Bush was too quick to decide on the topic of war.

He, in fact, held back a bit; he wanted to make sure the American people were cared for before he declared war.

In this documentary, the topic of war is discussed. Bush claims that there was a ongoing debate in Washington (starting on 9/11) on whether or not Bush should declare war. Bush, though, held back. He had the chance to declare war on the same of the attacks, but didn't. He wanted to hold back and take care of the wounded at home. He wanted to make sure America was emotionally fit to go to war.

Now, I am not going to debate the wars - I think that they were justified, but this is very much debated. I just want to say that Bush was much tougher on terrorists than other presidents. He wanted to track them down with measures such as the PATRIOT Act - and, at first, this bill was widely approved of. Its approval declined over the years after 9/11. People forgot what it was like to feel the fear of there possibly being another attack. They forgot the pain that the PATRIOT Act could prevent.

"President Obama increased spending for the War on Terror, although he didn't call it that. In just three years he requested $477 billion ""- more than half the actual Bush "War on Terror" initiative that lasted eight years. The true War on Terror costs have been more than $1.5 trillion. This was just for Overseas Contingencies Operations. It doesn't count all military spending, which was $618 billion for FY 2014 alone."
- from

At least the PATRIOT Act, good or bad, was at least known of by the American people. At least Bush informed them of its consequences, unlike some recent political spying scandals. *NSA*

And then there is the economy Bush is, of course, blamed for.

"The stock market closed for four trading days after the attacks, the first time since the Great Depression. (In March 1933, President Roosevelt closed the markets for two days, as part of a bank holiday to prevent a run on the banks.) The stock market reopened on September 17, 2001. The Dow promptly fell 7.13%, closing at 8,920.70. The 617.78 point loss was the Dow's worst one-day drop ever.

The 9/11 attacks aggravated the 2001 recession, which started in March 2001. The economy had contracted 1.3% in the first quarter, but had bounced up 2.7% in the second quarter. The attacks made the economy contract 1.1% in the third quarter, extending the recession. The 2001 recession was caused by the Y2K scare, which created a boom and subsequent bust in Internet businesses.

Although the recession was officially over by November 2001, threats of war drove the Dow down for another year, until October 9, 2002, when it closed at 7,286.27, a 37.8% decline from its peak. No one knew for sure if the bull market had begun until the Dow hit a higher low on March 11, 2003, closing at 7,524.06. Unemployment continued to climb until June 2003, when it reached 6% -- the peak for that recession."
- extracted from

So 9/11 had some immediate effects on the economy. These effects were noticeable - just a few months ago, President Clinton had been saying during his State of the Union that we had "budget surpluses through the next twenty-five years."

And now, the economy was in reccesison.

And the long term effects were especially dangerous - the cost of reconstruction (physically but also mentally), bailouts on the tourism industries, two wars to pay for, etc.

But what could Bush have done? Let the terrorists come and attack us while boasting a good economy?

But I believe, with all my heart, that Bush handled the situation well. If he hadn't, why did his approval ratings go up as high as 90% immediately following the attacks? Obviously the American people liked something about who he was and what he stood for.


Dr.Manhatan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Oh, my opponent forfeited. However, I am going to keep this debate going to garner the opinions of the voters and show them that George W. Bush was not the worst president in history.

First, I am going to reply to a comment that was posted on this debate - that 9/11 was planned by Bush. May I remind you that this is a conspiracy theory - that it has yet to be proved true. Until something huge comes out of the government, I do not believe that Bush intentionally caused 9/11.

Many conspiracy theories have come about huge events. Some include:

That HIV/AIDS was created by the government not only to kill gays but also to control the population.

That the 2013 bombings of the Boston Marathon were perpetrated by the government and are therefore a hoax.

That those at Pearl Harbor had advanced knowledge of the attacks.

See? Have these been proved to be true?

This is why they are labeled as 'theories' - and, although you think you may have the answer, your opinion about 9/11 is still labeled as a theory. Not enough evidence is present to prove that someone had advanced knowledge of the attacks.

It may just be true, but don't argue anything with me that isn't 100 percent correct.

If 9/11 occurred as a surprise, which it most likely did, Bush did a great job of handling the American people. That is why his approval ratings soared to 90 percent - people appreciated the work he was doing to console America and make sure another terrorist act was never committed against this country again.


Dr.Manhatan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


jvava forfeited this round.


Dr.Manhatan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by FreeThinker39 4 years ago
Of course Bush was not afraid to return to Washington. He knew that he was never in any real danger in the first place. The events of 9/11 were controlled. The evidence overwhelmingly supports this
Posted by jvava 4 years ago
Thank you. I completley agree with you.
Posted by Artur 4 years ago
one of the smartiest if not the smartest.

by saying smart I meant crafty. he was smart however.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con oddly affirmed the Pro position, so theoretically the debate should go to Pro. However, the introduction con gave was enough to show he was confused about declaring himself as Con. con's arguments are garbage, of course, Congress voted clearly in favor of military action, whether it was declared an official war or not. The economic meltdown was a joint effort of both Parties, with Democrats responsible for running up irresponsible Fannie and Freddie loan practices. Polls of historians usually show Andrew Johnson to have been the worst president. Introducing a video to exceed character limits is a conduct violation, but Pro deliberate sabotaged the debate, worse conduct. Pro left Con's arguments unanswered, so Con wins arguments.