Politics and Society

I Didn’t Agree With George H. W. Bush, But I Respect Him

I’m a progressive liberal. Always have been, always will be. Nonetheless, the news of George H. W. Bush’s death hit me like a truck. In the age of Trump, they just don’t make Republicans like him anymore. I truly offer my condolences to his loved ones— we all share your grief.

George H. W. Bush was a real president, someone who conducted himself with the decorum that the office merits. Just imagine having a nice, civil back-and-forth with Mr. Bush about, say, whether or not AIDs was something that gay men brought onto themselves. Nowadays, such a healthy, respectful debate is almost unimaginable.

Indeed, President Bush exuded such a genuine warmth. He really seemed like the kind of guy who you could sit down and have a beer with as he regaled you with tales of his women-groping escapades. I imagine afterwards, you could’ve gone for a walk with him. You’d push him in his wheelchair down to the local Panamanian restaurant, where he’d exclaim “ahh, Panama, this sure takes me back. Did you know I invaded that country when the CIA-compromised president stopped doing what we told him to do, killing five civilians for each enemy combatant?”

Rather than babble on about ‘fake news’ and instill distrust in the media, Mr. Bush actually respected the freedom of the press. They had complete autonomy as he lied to them in order to justify an invasion of Iraq. And I’ll tell you what, I personally didn’t quite agree with his killing of 153,000 Iraqis, nor his deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure. I can definitely respect his conviction, though — he really believed in what he was doing.

I really respect George H. W. Bush’s convictions, such as his love for dropping bombs on tens of thousands of civilians. / Image: Public Domain

In the current climate of open racism, division, and hatred seemingly looming around every corner, you can’t help but long for the more civil, less gung-ho racism of the Bush years. Entrapment to justify expanding the War on Drugs, for example? Our current president would never come up with something so ingenious; he’d blab and just say outright what his policies were actually aiming to accomplish. I miss good, respectable Republicans like George H. W. Bush who didn’t say the quiet part out loud.

And what about the whole Mueller thing going on right now? Crazy, huh? Can you believe the way Trump and his cronies pull out all the stops to delegitimise and undermine his investigation? Nothing like that would ever have happened under George H. W. Bush. Okay, there was that one time where he pardoned those involved in the Iran-Contra affair, in which he was also implicated, but it was just that once. Also, he did it with class.

George H. W. Bush was a truly exemplary man, one able to put partisan concerns aside and befriend anyone, as shown in his civility towards the Clintons and the Obamas. He was a beloved family man who had a loyal dog. He reminds us that whether we’re liberal, conservative, or something in between, it’s really not that hard to reconcile our differences and treat each other like human beings who just happen to have different opinions, such as opposite stances on the merits of trying to incite fear of black people to get elected. He will be duly missed.

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