Saturday, December 01, 2018

George H.W. Bush Has Died

George H.W. Bush, forty-first president of the United States, has died at the age of 94.

While serving in government, George H.W. Bush conducted himself with civility, wisdom, and patriotism, although a New York real estate developer named Donald Trump derided Bush’s 1989 Inaugural Address call for bipartisan cooperation and “a kinder, gentler nation,” saying the country was already too kind and gentle.

Bush was a master at foreign policy, working successfully to ensure that as the Soviet Empire crumbled, it didn’t spawn violence.

The 41st. president righted the federal government’s accounts following the irresponsible spending of the Reagan Administration (of which he had been a part, of course), led the world in thwarting Iraqi aggression in Kuwait, and shepherded the Americans with Disabilities Act through Congress, among other things.

I respected him as a true American hero. But in fairness, as a campaigner, he bears some historic blame for the current tribalism of American politics, having followed the lead of his campaign manager, Lee Atwater, who practiced the politics of evisceration for Bush’s successful 1988 presidential campaign. That was shortsighted. And it was wrong as the campaign featured a racially charged ad that distorted facts and played to voters’ basest impulses.

For all that, Bush was, in many ways, a great man, a great president, and a great American. There is nobody like him in American politics today.

Several years ago, Jon Meacham wrote an excellent biography of Bush which I recommend.

God comfort his family in the certain resurrection hope that belongs to all who believe in the risen Jesus Christ.

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