A man like Bush 41 may never pass this way again

Far grander, far more familiar and far more eloquent voices will be remembering and eulogizing President George W. Bush this week after his unfortunate passing at 94 last weekend.

However, Minot Daily News does not want the occasion to pass without making brief comment. Minot is a city with strong ties to the military. Bush’s strongest presidential legacy is managing the end of the Cold War, one of the greastest accomplishments of the second half of the 20th century. A veteran and a man committed to veterans and service members, the senior Bush should have a place carved out in the souls of those who remember, who served, who ever worried that the Cold War would go hot and see destruction at a level never seen before. If that was all Bush ever accomplished, history will remember him fondly.

Once you consider Bush’s other successes and his post-presidency exceptionalism, it’s hard to imagine a more impressive former president, particularly a one-term presidency. Then again, it was his lifetime of service, class, kindness and immense human decency that empowers his memory. The Bush family is an incredible American success story, whether one agrees with all of their political policies or not. The patriarch will be missed.

What is the impact today?

This week, the words and memories of George Herbert Walker Bush will be warm and kind from both sides of the aisle.

This, of course, is new. Virtually the identical sources who have subsequently labeled Republican elected officials with their pre-programmed epithets (Nazi, racist, white supremacist, racist, homophobe, bigot, misogynist) – media and members of the opposition party – attacked Bush with the same, sad, dishonest political attacks. The Democrats praising Bush today, during 41’s presidency, spoke no better of him than they do today of Donald Trump. There is no comparison between the two men, but then again, such rhetoric was then and has always been disengenuous – the death throes of a once-great party now ruthlessly fighting for power, just for the sake of power.

We may never see a president like George H. W. Bush again. Today’s politics is too ugly, too dominated by people with no honor, no accomplishments, with no evidence of patriotism or service. Public service is the path to wealth today, not the fee one willingly plays for the blessing of liberty. The political world is too ugly, too partisan, totally lost with the idea of governance.

That is the true weight of the loss of Bush 41. We are lesser as a people because of the loss. We are even more reduced because it seems unlikely we will see a man of similar personal quality even bother to run for the presidency again. Another Bush 41 may never come again.

In the aftermath of the unfortunate death of the former president, this is the hardest part of his legacy.

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