In the Year of our Lord, 2050, a press conference at the ranch near the Crawford city limits was just beginning. By 2050, the Crawford air terminal had been named Heck-of-a-Job International Airport. The local school was named the Laura Bush High School.
Several young reporters were there to interview and learn from this elder statesman and former president. Since this batch of reporters was not alive when GWB was in office and his papers were sealed for eternity, they hardly knew enough to ask questions.
That year, 2050, was also the year a law was passed that each state in the union could have only one newspaper. This saved trees and kept from confusing the readers with different opinions. The New York Times was now a tabloid read only on the Internet.
This shortage of newspapers really began at the end of 2007 when papers like the San Antonio Express-News and San Angelo Standard-Times stopped shipping their papers to nearby villages. Something to do with cost of gas and ink.
One timid reporter asked the former president if he served in Vietnam. “Yes,” Bush answered, “I was there.”
Another former president (Condi Rice, the first female president) interrupted the timid reporter, “No follow-up questions, please.”
This stopped another reporter from mentioning GWB’s Vietnam trip was 30 years after the war ended.
GWB, caught up in thought, continued: “I remember I was in Baghdad twice, neither time did I get to town or see any biblical sites.”
A bright young thing (probably a freshman journalism student from nearby Baylor University) asked how the war with Iraq ended.
GWB put aside his fishing pole and stood up to expound on that weighty question. He said a lot, but about all the student got was something about flying a fighter jet onto a Navy carrier in San Diego Bay, which had an inspiring sign: “Mission Accomplished.”
The students had not read much history–any more than earlier generations–but they tried to appear knowledgeable. They relished this once-in-a-lifetime scoop with a man who made history.
One history book published in 2023 saw Bush “as possibly the greatest man of the 21st century.” (Later one of the reporters tried to find that book. He thought the Laura Bush Library had the only copy.)
Then an upstart sophomore from Southern Methodist University asked why American soldiers were still in Iraq and United States naval bases were built up and down the Tigris?
GWB had an instant answer: “The troops are still there to keep the Kurds safe from the Turks and the Arabs. The naval bases were to keep the gun boat diplomacy from sinking.” He spoke at length how the “No Child Left Behind” program was a success all over the Middle East.
GWB picked up his fishing pole, holding it like it was a sword, and waxed eloquently on how he brought democracy to the Middle East. Had he had a third term, he could have brought peace to the ends of the earth.
But he said he was encouraged that his nephew, Jeb’s boy, was doing one heck-of-a-job as president, carrying on the War on Terror from the White House bunker.
Britt Towery is a former missionary in China who writes for the Brownwood Bulletin in Brownwood, Texas. This column also appeared in the San Angelo Standard-Times.