As President Bush begins to think about life after being the most powerful chimp in the world, he has to find a site for his Presidential Library.
Erecting a Presidential Library has become a time-honored tradition for former Presidents. After 4 to 8 years in office, Presidents need a place to pack off all their notes and photos and gifts. A Presidential Library made perfect sense when President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the first one in Hyde Park, New York, in 1939.
But now, when rental mini-storage facilities are available in every corner of the country, why raise $500 million and hire architects to design and build a fancy schmancy museum to hold all the junk?
And what if you’re the worst President of all time? Who wants THAT President’s library in their home town? That’s the scenario President Bush may be facing.
Southern Methodist University
Since Southern Methodist University became the frontrunner on the short list of potential sites for the Invading Decider’s library, the faculty, administrators, and staff of the university’s Perkins School of Theology sent a letter to SMU’s president. The letter in part says the signers would:
…regret to see SMU enshrine attitudes and actions widely deemed as ethically egregious: degradation of habeas corpus, outright denial of global warming, flagrant disregard for international treaties, alienation of long-term U.S. allies, environmental predation, shameful disrespect for gay persons and their rights, a pre-emptive war based on false and misleading premises, and a host of other erosions of respect for the global human community and for this good Earth on which our flourishing depends.
SMU is a private university in Dallas, founded in 1911 by what is now the United Methodist Church. Although President Bush is a member of the United Methodist Church, he failed to acknowledge his own church in September when it helped launch a week of protest and civil disobedience against the war in Iraq by signing a declaration of peace urging the President to pull U.S. troops out of the country.
On the pro-library side of the fence, a Presidential Library would bring instant tourists and economic energy to SMU. According to figures from the National Archive, attendance tends to spike in the opening year, and again upon the president’s death. That’s good news for the Dallas Chamber of Commerce, which already sees tourists line up to visit The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.
Also, First Lady Laura Bush is a SMU graduate and member of its board of trustees. The first lady has indicated that she and the worst President in history will spend their post-White House life between their ranch in Crawford and a home in Dallas.
Visit a Presidential Library
Existing Presidential Libraries can be visited, online or in person, here:
- Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum – West Branch, Iowa
- Franklin D. Roosevelt Library & Digital Archives - Hyde Park, New York
- Harry S. Truman Library & Museum - Independence, Missouri
- Dwight D. Eisenhower Library & Museum - Abilene, Kansas
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library & Museum - Boston, Massachusetts
- Lyndon B. Johnson Library & Museum - Austin, Texas
- Nixon Presidential Materials - College Park, Maryland
- Gerald R. Ford Library & Museum - Ann Arbor, Michigan; Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum - Atlanta, Georgia
- Ronald Reagan Presidential Library - Simi Valley, California
- George Bush Library & Museum - College Station, Texas
- William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum - Little Rock, Arkansas
[tags]Bush, SMU, Presidential Library, Iraq, war, United Methodist Church[/tags]