Opinion

Liberal Dem. says Bush saved more lives than any US president

A self-confessed “liberal Democrat who voted for Obama twice” says that George W. Bush saved more lives than any other U.S. president and refers to him as “the real American hero in Africa.”

Ellen Ratner in South Sudan
Ellen Ratner in Africa. Photo credit goatfortheoldgoat.com

Ellen Ratner, who serves as White House Correspondent and Bureau Chief for Talk Radio News Service, posted an article on Fox News in which she professes a particular interest in South Sudan which she has visited 14 times since March, 2008.

She explains that the Christian nation of South Sudan separated from the Muslim-dominated Sudan “after a half-century of civil war; in 2011,” and is now recognized as an independent state by the United Nations. She continues as follows:

For five years, now, I have entranced and, yes, haunted by the land and its people. The land is so beautiful, the people are so friendly.  And yet they are plagued by many challenges. And some Americans have really stood up to help–most notably, the 43rd President, George W. Bush.

After the 2008 election, Ratner described the South Sudanese as filled with hope — America had elected its first African-American president, and the people of that new nation proudly wore “T-shirts with photos of President Obama on them.” Four years later, she says the once-held hope has dimmed and “the Obama excitement, and the T-shirts, have most disappeared.”

Ratner continues:

In fact, South Sudanese today are thinking more about another U.S. president: that would be Obama’s predecessor, Bush 43. As a liberal Democrat and Obama supporter, I was particularly struck by this. Yes, Bush is a hero in Africa, and Americans, too, should know why.

No American president, before or since, has had Bush’s vision and determination to save so many millions of lives.

For Africans, that vision traces back to the early years of his presidency. In his 2003 State of the Union Address, Bush introduced the “President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief” (PEPFAR.)

And that proposal had real meat: $15 billion over five years, as well as a serious look at African health problems, beyond HIV/AIDS.

Bush proposed it, and his proposal wasn’t just a few throw-away lines in a speech; even as the Iraq war raged, Bush spent precious political capital to get PEPFAR enacted.

While many other liberal commentators mock “Dubya” as slow-witted and uncaring, Ratner has seen the man and the overwhelming and everlasting impression he has left on the African people — especially the five million lives of South Sudan whose lives have been saved and enriched by Bush-43.

Read her entire piece at Fox News.

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