|Text on Button
|Stop Mad Cowboy DISEASE
Illustration of a cowboy with a large brown hat, pink boots with spurs, a green shirt with blue fringe and shooting pointer fingers like guns on a background of a desert and blue sky with red and green text.
This is a button critiquing George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States. The image of Bush as a stereotypical cowboy is a reference to his Texan heritage, distinct Southern accent, and the “country” persona he cultivated. According to polls, Bush's persona was cited by both his supporters and his detractors as one of the primary factors for their like or dislike. The expression on the button is a pun, playing into the panic about the spread of Mad Cow Disease—a degenerative, transmittable disease affecting the nervous system of cattle—that occurred in the U.S. during the early 2000s.
George W. Bush's presidency began on a controversial note, due to the Florida ballot recounts and subsequent lawsuits that followed. Despite a rocky start, his approval rating rose to 90 percent following the September 11 attacks. Bush was reelected in 2004, but his popularity dropped significantly following the election, in part due to his handling of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Hurricane Katrina.