It is Sunday, Dec. 2, and I’m dismayed by the hypocrisy I am reading on the pages of the Packet/Gazette.
The paper is full of articles eulogizing President George H.W. Bush for his decency, graciousness, and service. This from the press, all sides of the political spectrum, and past supporters and detractors.
As a conservative, I didn’t support all his policies, but I too think that we have benefited overall from his service to America.
Most of the reporting lamented that we need more people (press, politicians, and public) in the service of the country who demonstrate the same decency and graciousness.
Then I go to the opinion page. The Sacramento Bee editorial board praises Bush’s decency. Next page, a Bee writer says House Speaker Paul Ryan has no moral compass. Another Bee writer complains that because he disagrees with President Donald Trump policy, Trump is a Nazi, moral garbage, and a toadstool. How does that pass for decency?
Frank Bruni of The New York Times praises Bush’s uncommon grace. Paul Krugman of the Times calls Republicans depraved and bad since they don’t believe the climate change dogma of the left. Do we need to change the definition of grace?
In the letters to the editor, a local conservative contrasts the conservative view of MAGA versus the liberal view. No character assassination, no moral judgments, all policy. Contrast that with a letter calling the GOP and its supporters un-American, white supremacists and hate-mongers.
Does decency have a chance?
We once could disagree, but still admire
The passing of President George H.W. Bush, who I admired as a good man, and who truly believed in the “thousand points of light,” (a call for volunteerism and striving to serve the public), reminds me of a time when I could differ with a politician’s political views and still admire the person.
It was the same with John McCain.
These two Republicans stand in sharp contrast with most current Republican legislators, whose playbook seems to be “Dirty Tricks.”
Mitch McConnell and his Republican Senate blocked votes on — thus stealing — President Barack Obama’s nomination to the Supreme Court seat and 59 federal judgeships. The Republican Wisconsin legislature is seeking to limit the authority of a newly-elected Democratic governor and attorney general.
Here’s what President Donald Trump said, at a (Newsweek, 07/06/2018)Montana rally, about Bush’s call for Americans to serve the common good: “Thousand points of light, what does that mean? I know one thing: Make America Great Again we understand. Putting America first we understand. Thousand points of light, I never quite got that one. What the hell is that? Has anyone ever figured that one out? It was put out by a Republican wasn’t it?”
President Bush explained what he meant in his inaugural address: “Community organizations that are spread like stars throughout the nation, doing good ... Old ideas that are timeless: duty, sacrifice, commitment, and a patriotism that finds its expression in taking part and pitching in.”
George H.W. Bush voted for Hillary Clinton and called Trump a “blowhard.”
Hilton Head Island
‘41’ a model of civility world needs
Hopefully the attention being focused on President George H.W. Bush will be a reminder to all of us as to how attractive, inspirational, effective, significant, pragmatic and worthy of emulation it is to be decent and respectful to others, regardless of anyone’s point of view.
Decency toward others and moral behavior by all are essential to reconstructing the character of America, and “41,” with all his flaws, represents a classic example of what we still can be and can accomplish if we wish to realize our better angels.
Gretchen and Bob Gregory
Hilton Head Island
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