Tag Archives: george h w bush

Some thoughts on the passing of a decent President

I’ll be honest, I was distraught when George H W Bush won the 1988 presidential election. I had so been hoping for an end to Republicans in the White House after 8 years of Reagan. I didn’t think his Vice President was going to be much of an improvement. I was annoyed that hard-hitting negative advertising combined with poor strategy and misjudgement of what constituted a good photo opportunity had cost Mike Dukakis.

Four years later, I stayed up all night watching the results, elated as Bill Clinton won a commanding victory. By that time, it wasn’t that I couldn’t stand Bush. In fact, I’d grown to respect his ability to form international alliances and show restraint and generally be a safe pair of hands at a time fo the most amazing global transformation. I was saddened how he had been pushed to the evangelical right by a bruising primary contest in a party which was then showing that it was capable of going to some very dark places.

Of course, as America’s economy suffered and people got poorer, he didn’t respond with the sort of social democrat policies that I would have liked. Then again, neither did Clinton. America just never has been in that place. I have never been able to understand why the provision of health care that’s free at the point of use by the state is such a controversial idea.

But Bush’s presidency had been a force for international good. I was glad that his Secretary of State James Baker was at least prepared to try to curb the excesses of the Israeli Government and to get people round the negotiating table, laying the groundwork for the Oslo Accord. 

Posted in Op-eds | 12 Comments
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