Scoot: Will the passing of President Bush bring change to America?

December 05, 2018 - 9:50 am

Even in his death, President George Herbert Walker Bush is serving America.  The passing of our 41st president is presenting America with the opportunity to look at where we have drifted over the past 30 + years.  The journey to this point in American politics has been a drift - slow at times and a rapid rush at other times.  In the 2016 presidential election, for many reasons, politics in America was hit with unprecedented changes and we are continuing to asses the positive developments, as well as the damage.

The character of President George H.W. Bush is set against the contrast of every president since he was elected in 1988 after serving as Ronald Reagan’s vice president for 8 years.  President Bush was also an ambassador to China and director of the CIA.  He was more than a president - he was a statesman.

Every president has flaws, and George H.W. Bush was not exception.  Every president has horrific things that happen during their years in the White House; but from all we knew about him, President George H.W. Bush was an honorable man who deeply cared about the country he served starting at the age of 18, when he served America by joining the Navy.  He was the last president to see action in combat.

It is easy to compare the character and disposition of President George H.W. Bush with President Donald Trump and place blame of Trump for the current pedestrian mentality that has reached the White House, but that would be unfair considering that is was a voting American public that elected President Trump.

There were 17 Republicans running for the party’s nomination.  Many of them were less boisterous in their approach to politics.  It was the one who was the most boisterous who was chosen by the people to represent the Republican Party in the 2016 presidential election and again it was the people of America who chose Donald Trump to lead this nation.

Considering the tone set by candidate Trump during the 2016 campaign, no one should be shocked at the outrageous demeanor of the President.  We, the people, are responsible for this change.  Maybe not you or me - but we, as a nation, are responsible. Will this be a continuing or a short-lived trend in America politics is the ultimate question that only time will answer.

The recent passings of Senator John McCain and President George H.W. Bush and injected a refreshing conversation about political leadership.  The reminiscing that has followed the death of McCain and Bush may be causing America to consider whether we are on the right path.  Do we want a reality TV president or do we want a statesman?  There is an obvious intellectual answer and then there is an emotional answer to that question.

The truth is that America wants to be entertained; and sadly, the potential candidates who were not selected as nominees for both parties were not entertaining - with the possibly exception of Bernie Sanders! 

As a nation, we know what is best for us; yet we can’t discipline ourselves to do what is best for us - personally or politically.  Simply put, Americans collectively watch too much television or entertainment online even though we know more might be learned through reading.  Unlike Eastern cultures, Americans don’t know how to be quiet and think.  We are busy and if we are not busy we find ways to make ourselves busy and we are always distracted.  Yes, America suffers from ADHD.

But I wonder if the memories of leaders, like President George Herbert Walker Bush are clashing with the modern-day political landscape in a way that will cause us to seek a new collective change.  And the new change may be toward leaders that have more the quality of dignity than the qualities of a radio shock jock.

It will be up to the American people to decide who our next president will be.  Don’t blame the politicians or the media - look in the mirror and that’s who is to blame for the political changes - the good and the bad.

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