The comparisons between President Bush and President Obama started in almost the very first year of Obama Presidency because President Obama’s easy win against John McCain was also due to the growing unpopularity of Bush Presidency. Now that Obama Presidency is also over, it may be an appropriate time to compare President Bush and President Obama. Bush Presidency and Obama Presidency give us a good idea of the ideologies held by conservative and liberal Americans.

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As far as foreign policy is concerned, President Bush embraced muscular foreign policy. Bush Presidency led to two major wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. President Bush made it clear to the world during his first term that the U.S. will not be afraid to conduct pre-emptive strikes or even mount long-term military campaigns without international support in order to go after the enemy. He declared after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, “Over time it’s going to be important for nations to know they will be held accountable for inactivity. You’re either with us or against us in the fight against terror,” . In contrast, President Obama significantly scaled down the military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq . In addition, he embraced diplomacy at a grander scale than his predecessor which helped the U.S. and its allies reach an agreement with Iran to temporarily halt Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. Moreover, President Obama also restored direct diplomatic contact with Cuba. President Obama’s hesitation to launch a major military campaign against Syrian President Assad also shows that he was not as much a believer in the effectiveness of muscular foreign policy as his predecessor President Bush. In fact, President Obama defined his foreign policy approach as, “We will engage, but we preserve all our capabilities.” .

President Bush and President Obama pursued economic policies some of whom were similar while others were different. Both President Bush and President Obama believed in free trade. President Bush achieved the Central American-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement in 2005 while President Obama negotiated the Trans-Pacific Partnership. President Bush signed bilateral agreements with Australia, Bahrain, Chile, Oman, Jordan, and Singapore among other countries while President Obama signed bilateral agreements with Panama, Colombia, South Korea, and Peru . President Bush and President Obama did have different ideas on taxes. President Bush believed taxes should be lowered for everyone including the richest Americans while President Obama believed richest Americans should pay more taxes . President Bush also differed from President Obama over the role of government in economic affairs. The policies by Obama Administration clearly showed he believed a greater government role in economic affairs is good for the country while President Bush held the opposite view. President Obama pushed for universal healthcare system in the U.S. and realized his goal in the form of ACA or ‘Obamacare’ as it is widely called.

President Bush and President Obama also held quite contrasting views on social and domestic issues. As far as abortion is concerned, President Bush was pro-life while President Obama was pro-choice. President Bush believed abortion is immoral while President Obama believed women should have a choice when it comes to their bodies. President Bush defined marriage as the union between men and women and was against the idea of gay marriage. In contrast, President Obama believed marriage is a right that should be available to everyone irrespective of their sexual orientation. Obama Presidency is also remembered for the fact that gay marriage became the law of the land during Obama Presidency. As far as gun control is concerned, President Bush did not believe in restricting access to guns while President Obama called for stricter gun control laws . He is particularly remembered for making such calls after the mass shooting tragedies. President Bush also held stronger views against the legalization of marijuana while President Obama implied he was in favor of less restrictive access to marijuana. President Bush believes strict punishments do deter crimes while President Obama called for review of the criminal justice system which, in his opinion, often placed undue burden on the offenders. There were also social and domestic issues on which both Presidents agreed. For example, both President Bush and President Obama believed illegal aliens should have a path to citizenship. They also did not view EPA regulations as too restrictive. They both implemented policies to support green energy and help U.S. become energy self-sufficient .

President Bush could be defined as a conservative president while President Obama could be defined as a liberal president as their respective foreign, economic, and social policies demonstrated. President Bush believed in muscular foreign policy while President Obama believed in diplomacy. Both President Bush and President Obama believed in free trade but President Obama also believed government should play an important role in economic affairs where as his predecessor preferred minimal government involvement in economic activities. President Bush defined marriage as the union between a man and a woman while President Obama believed the right of marriage should be accessible to all Americans irrespective of their sexual orientation. President Bush was pro-life while President Obama was pro-choice. President Bush believed stricter punishments are more effective while President Obama believed criminal justice system should be reformed as it disproportionately targets the minority groups. Both presidents did agree that illegal aliens should have a path to citizenship.

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  • Bendery, Jennifer. Obama Came To Office To End Iraq War, May Leave Having Started A New One. 11 September 2014. 8 October 2017 .
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  • Hornick, Ed. How the ‘Obama doctrine’ compares with predecessors. 29 March 2011. 8 October 2017 .
  • Keating, Joshua. Is There an Obama Doctrine? Here Is a List of All the Others. 28 May 2014. 8 October 2017 .