According to President Obama, Friday – the day that twenty first graders were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School – was the toughest day of his presidency. Usually, that’s a sign that a defining moment has arrived.
Our Presidents’ legacies are shaped by how they deal with these defining moments.
For George W. Bush, it was 9/11 – a defining moment he used to encourage Americans to go shopping while their government constructed a massive surveillance state and launched an unwinnable “War on Terrorism” that’s killed hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of people around the world and bankrupted our nation at home.
For FDR, it was the Great Depression – a defining moment he used to pass the New Deal. It redefined capitalism and constructed a “We Society” that cares for the old, the sick, and the impoverished and balanced economic power for workers through federal protection of labor unions.
Today, Bush’s legacy is tarnished and FDR’s legacy is celebrated – all because of how each used their respective defining moments.