On the last day of November this year, the 41st President passed away. Today we celebrate the incredible journey he took upon himself.
George H. W. Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts on June 12th of 1924, and for the next 94 years he changed the course of American history. Even in his younger years Bush proved to be a leader, becoming President of the senior class of Philips University. The spirit of Patriotism that Bush acquired before embodying took firm root during World War II, where Bush was (at age 18) among the youngest servicemen in the military. A naval aviator, Bush was shot down by Japanese ground-flaks in 1944, an event that he later claimed caused him to wonder what God’s purpose for him was. Awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross, Bush soon married Barbara Pierce, leading to the longest-lived marriage of 73 years for an American President. Bush was a millionaire by the time he was elected to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1966, and represented Houston, Texas. Although he lost a hard-fought race for U.S. Senator in 1970, President Richard Nixon appointed him Ambassador to the United Nations.
Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Bush at first defended Nixon during the Watergate Scandal, but soon encouraged him to resign. Gerald Ford appointed Bush to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency. With his vast experience, Bush decided to run for President in the Election of 1980. With a heavy loss to former governor of California, Ronald Reagan, Bush decided to sell his home and relocate to the eastern coast. However, Reagan eventually made Bush his vice-presidential candidate and with the win, assumed his duties. Bush had a very good relationship with Reagan, probably helped by his famous refusal to become Acting President after a nearly-successful assassination attempt on Reagan. Bush remained Vice-President for all eight years of Reagan’s term, and was perhaps involved in the Iran-Contra Scandal, although no current proof exists.
Bush ran for President again in 1988, and this time won handily against first Bob Dole in the primaries and then Michael Dukasis in the general election. Bush is best-known for both his vastly successful foreign policy and his unsuccessful Economic Strategy. Bush oversaw the collapse of the Soviet Union begun by Reagan, and successfully forced Iran out of Kuwait during the Gulf War.
“Read my lips: no new taxes.” These words best describe the reason for President Bush’s loss to Bill Clinton in the 1992 Presidential Election. The Economy suffered during his Presidency, the result of disagreements between the parties over how to curb the federal deficit. Bush was pressured by the Democratic majority to sign drastic Tax increases into effect, eventually plummeting his popularity and leading to him becoming the last to-date President to lose Re-election.
Perception of Bush’s Presidency has greatly increased since he left office, and Bush remained active in retirement, living to see his own son become President. To distinguish himself, he became known as Bush Senior or Bush 41. Bush even tossed the coin of Super Bowl LI! Bush was the longest-living President in history at the time of his death, and maintained his sense of humor and gentleness to the end.
President Donald Trump ordered that today be a national day of mourning for a country that has lost a veteran, a President, and a leader. I think the coolest moment during the funeral was when 95-year old politician and fellow veteran Bob Dole rose from his wheelchair and gave Bush a salute. No bitterness, just pure respect seldom seen nowadays. That’s what this country is about. That’s the kind of country I am proud to be a part of.