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There’s nothing I love more than the smell of patriotism in the morning, especially when that smell is coming straight from the George W. Bush Presidential Library dedication, which occurred last week at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. I dare you to try and even imagine anything more American than saying the pledge of allegiance with all five living presidents in front of you and a hundred foot American flag majestically waving behind you. For those of you from lesser universities without presidential libraries, here’s a rundown of who and what you missed.
If you you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard, everything is bigger in Texas. Our steaks, bank accounts, presidential libraries, and even our style go by the maxim “bigger is better.” For example, southern women tend to think that bigger hair makes them literally closer to heaven. The men routinely get into a pissing contest about whose cowboy hat is biggest. Both Texas trends were in full force for Thursday’s dedication ceremony. Dick Cheney donned a cowboy hat for the event, as did numerous Texas oil tycoons in the audience. George H.W. Bush gave no fucks whatsoever and sported bright pink socks to match his Vineyard Vines tie. Quite possibly my favorite observation of the day, however, was the variance of female attire. Early on it became clear that political affiliation was tied to choice of outfit. Laura Bush, an SMU Theta, radiated class and beauty, as did most of the SMU female population. Laura and the rest of the SMU girls wore beautiful dresses, the aforementioned closer-to-heaven hair, and pearls. On the other hand, it was hilariously easy to spot every Democratic woman by her choice of pantsuit. They obviously didn’t understand that they were invited to an American celebration, not the pants party.
As each living president made their remarks, and while I was tuning out Jimmy Carter, I realized that each distinguished member of “the world’s most exclusive club” was like a family gathering at a semi-dysfunctional Thanksgiving dinner. Carter is that socially awkward cousin who everyone assumes was probably adopted, because no one understands how he got there. George H.W. Bush is the All-American, war hero grandfather who loves telling stories about hazing the shit out of the Japanese. Clinton is the uncle who has, without a doubt, slept with everyone’s wife/girlfriend/anything that moves, but no one is even mad about it because his inappropriate jokes (and a lot of tequila) make family gatherings bearable. Obama is the intellectual GDI of the family who is annoyingly appropriate, unlike the lovable and mischievous Uncle Clinton. Then there’s George W. Bush, the man of the hour himself. If you somehow aren’t convinced W is FAF, I can attest that during the ceremony not only did he frat-point out to Dick Cheney in the front row, but he also threw a “W” out to the audience. Oh, and his First Lady is by far the hottest.
The SMU student body celebrated the historical event the only way we know how– boozing and blowing shit up. An entire portion of the school, specifically the portion outside fraternity row, was closed off by Secret Service for students to do American shit like pound beers, eat apple pies, and wave flags through the air. Dubya himself made a special appearance while Jack Ingram, an SMU alum, sang God Bless America, with red, white and blue fireworks shooting off from the library. I found myself in a moral conundrum as to just how drunk I wanted to get for this shindig. Then I thought, WWWD- What Would W Do? Channeling a young and constantly blacked out George W. Bush, I proceeded to chug beers and Texas’ own Tito’s Vodka. By 8 pm I was fully blacked out and having wet dreams about Uncle Sam. I woke up the next morning with no shoes, no phone, no purse, a greater love for America, and the bittersweet suspicion that my chances of ever being a First Lady were slim to none.
Earlier in the day, George W. Bush had referred to the SMU student body as “awesome.” After experiencing how they rage balls in the name of America, I’m fairly certain he’s even happier he chose the Dallas campus as the location of his presidential library. Though my mission to “Boulevard For Bush” (Mission Accomplished) is a fog of red, white, and blacked, the morning-after stories from friends reassured me that I wasn’t the only one getting weird for America.
Overall, the day wasn’t about left wings or rights wings, liberals or conservatives, or even GDIs or Greeks. It was about coming together to celebrate the greatest fucking country in the world and the undeniable freedoms we enjoy that allow us to fuck shit up every night of the week. Bush of course made sure to salute our troops, and in his final remarks, behind misty eyes, he expressed his belief that this country’s best days are still before us as we continue to be a model for prosperity and freedom to the rest of the world.
God bless America, y’all.