At the risk of being unoriginal, please allow me a few words to eulogize former President George H.W. Bush, a man who never got enough credit for his many accomplishments-which were far too numerous to enumerate here.
While his closest friends and advisors agree he never deserved the “wimp factor” criticism he endured during his Presidency, I agree with one observation that H.W. was the only person ever elected for being nice.
Bush made bipartisan deals, which probably cost him re-election. Bush agreed to a tax increase as part of a deficit-reduction plan. The deal put the federal budget on the path toward balance but the tax hike, which violated a no-tax pledge in 1988, infuriated many Republicans. That issue, along with a weak economy in 1992, led to Bush's defeat for re-election in 1992 against Bill Clinton and independent Ross Perot.
Many in the media and Democrats who praise Bush today do so with a secret agenda. Praising Bush’s character and demeanor provides an opportunity to highlight their constant critiques of President Trump’s character and personal style.
Here’s on observation of mine to those who would blame Donald Trump for the present lack of civility and societal break from traditional manners and decorum. That process began many year before. Yes absolutely, Trump’s rhetorical style is the antithesis of accepted norms and traditional style of both parties.
You could see this change going back to the chaos of the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1968, but like many I began to notice the widening gap between the media establishment, pop culture, and progressives with what came to be known as “family values” with the lampooning of Bush VP Dan Quayle with regard to his Murphy Brown critique in 1992. (look it up)
I remember H.W. himself publicly wishing America was more like The Waltons than The Simpsons.
The nation was told of former president George H.W. Bush's humor, generosity, work ethic and adventurous spirit at his funeral Wednesday. Before his father died, George W. Bush thanked him for all he had done and told him he loved him, he said. "The last words he would ever say on earth were, 'I love you, too,'" he recalled.
IBM CEO Sam Palmisano provided a handwritten note from President Bush to himself in 2009 about the president’s advice for young people. The note was read aloud at his service.
The letter says:
“I cannot single out the one greatest challenge in my life. I have had a lot of challenges and my advice to young people might be as follows
Don’t get down when your life takes a bad turn. Out of adversity comes challenge and often success
Don’t blame others for your setbacks
When things go well, always give credit to others
Don’t talk all the time. Listen to your friends and mentors and learn from them
Don’t brag about yourself. Let others point out your virtues, your strong points.
Give someone else a hand. When a friend is hurting show that friend you care
Nobody likes an overbearing big shot
As you succeed, be kind to people. Thank those who help you along the way
Don’t be afraid to shed a tear when your heart is broken because a friend is hurting.
Say your prayers!!”
These words are the essence of President George H.W. Bush the man – his humility, his humanity. THIS is “all anyone needs to know about his values” and frankly it IS his legacy.
Bush’s son, President George W. spoke these words at his funeral, “When the history books are written, they will say that George H.W. Bush was a great president of the United States, a diplomat of unmatched skill, a commander-in-chief of formidable accomplishment, and a gentleman who executed the duties of his office with dignity and honor.
In his inaugural address, the 41st president of the United States said this, "We cannot hope only to leave our children a bigger car, a bigger bank account. We must hope to give them a sense of what it means to be a loyal friend, a loving parent, a citizen who leaves his home, his neighborhood and town better than he found it.
"What do we want the men and women who work with us to say when we are no longer there? That we were more driven to succeed than anyone around us, or that we stopped to ask if a sick child had gotten better, and stayed a moment, there, to trade a word of friendship."