Remembering the 41st President, George Herbert Walker Bush

John Tondora ‘20

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On November 30, 2018, just five months after the death of his wife of 73 years, President George Herbert Walker Bush passed in his sleep. Not just Americans, but people around the world awoke to the devastating news of his loss. President Bush boasted a lifetime of success both in his career and his family life. A father to six and a grandfather to 17, not to mention his many great-grandchildren, Bush exemplified what it meant to be a great father and husband. His unending devotion to his family is something that all can admire in him. On the public service side, Bush was an Ambassador to China, the United Nations, a member of the House of Representatives, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, a Lieutenant in the Navy, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Vice President, and finally, the 41 President of the United States. Former President Bush lived and breathed to serve the United States.

The world remembers not only a civil servant, but also an amazing example of American politics. A right-leaning centrist by nature, Bush often chose to listen to all sides, so as to understand an issue better. In the heated political climate of 2018, this idea seems almost alien to the United States; however he shined like a beacon on top of a political hill. Namita Kalghatgi ‘20 furthers, “Regardless of political leaning, former President Bush was a gentleman who rose above the ever-increasing polarization of his time period. He stood his ground when it came to important issues, and for that, all can admire him.” Namita exemplifies why George H.W. Bush’s legacy is often remembered as being so spotless. Regardless of his true political decisions, he both talked the talk, and walked the walk. This legacy of actions only amplifies his high societal standing in the political realm because his actions and his character spoke louder than his words. Therefore, when it comes to his overall evaluation as a President of the United States, one must relinquish political bias and consider him for what he truly was: a man who exemplified the American Dream. From his ancestors being immigrants to owning his own business and becoming independently wealthy to controlling the highest office in the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush was nothing short of remarkable.

Moreover, President Bush’s actions are a stark contrast to the current presidency of Donald J. Trump. Though no president enjoys negative coverage, President Bush took it on the chin, a testament to his character, and the respect he had for the media. On the other hand, for better or worse, President Trump chooses to energize his base through diminishing contrasting opinions and harsh criticism of him as ‘fake news.’ Siddarth Sasane explains, “Regardless of his policy, Bush had a respect for the office and the job, something that Donald Trump does not have. Therefore, his constituents respected him whether they agreed with him or not.”

Thus, although the passing of President George Herbert Walker Bush has saddened the world, it can still look to him as a goal to strive for on many levels. From civil service, to being a father, President Bush’s legacy as an American, and a citizen of the world, will stay in the annals of history for test of time.