I was looking at an old posting that showed Ellen DeGeneres with former president, George Busch, watching a football game. They looked relaxed and friendly, just like old friends would look, hanging out together. The photo brought to mind the year 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana and the negligence and indifference of the administration at that time brought to light the painful truth, that these people living in the poorest part of Louisiana were left to fend for themselves when the levees broke.
The callous unresponsiveness resulted in images of African Americans clinging to rooftops or their bodies floating in the filthy water, while the burning sun beat down.
Years later, George W. Bush has resurfaced to new popularity, mostly because our country is grappling with the antics of his fellow right-winger now holding office. George W. Bush, like Donald Trump, are both men born to the privilege that allows them to attain levels of power for which they are not qualified. Former President Bush experienced criticism and ridicule for his handling of Katrina, a national emergency of horrific magnitude with the power to cause irreparable damage to a population of color.
Two years ago, in 2017, Puerto Rico experienced Hurricane Maria, Donald Trump rebuked the victims and mocked their suffering by throwing them a roll of paper towels while his followers watching him and applauded. After the calm, the death toll that resulted was staggering.
George W. Bush and his followers were able to avoid any close scrutiny in regard to their administration’s beliefs and practices involving racism until New Orleans brought them to light. Today, the media pays reverence to what they remember as a softer, lighter, Republican party. There was no overt expression of White nationalism or incidents of White terrorism. There was no in-your-face hatred, like that now expressed by Donald Trump and his followers.
George W. Bush was soft-spoken and temperate in his expressions, but racism still prevailed over the devastation of the murderous hurricane. How soon we forget that George W. Bush lied about “weapons of mass destruction,” and hid his connections to Saudi Arabia.
This brings us back to Ellen, someone who fought for decades, advocating for the rights of LGBTQ folks. Perhaps the criminality of the present administration with all it’s accompanying racism, misogyny, and homophobia, makes Bush’s administration seem downright equalitarian in her eyes. Perhaps she forgives everything that happened during his reign or perhaps it was of no consequence to her at all.
Upon examination, it’s clear that Trump and his administration have simply perpetuated the underlying philosophy of governing as it relates to people of color and LGBTQ folk. With the exception of his total lack of any filter, Trump is promoting the same ideology that was adhered to in the Bush administration. But this time on steroids.
So, is there a difference between individuals and party leaders who chose to lean to the right in their politics? Based on this administration’s acts that mirror what happened in the prior Bush administration, I don’t think so. What is it they say about like minds?