For one thing, 41 ran one of the most blatantly racist presidential campaigns since the Civil War, utilizing a “Willie Horton” ad to despicably tar and feather his Democratic opponent, Michael Dukakis. And Bush’s campaign not only played the ad constantly, blatantly stirring up animus against African-Americans, it also dredged up as much fear among their white voting base that black men were being released from prison and coming after them, to pillage, rob, rape and kill. And this was not just one ad. This was, in fact, the entire basis of the Bush campaign. And it was all lies and distortion, an utterly unfair attack that was flat-out racist.
Clearly, 41 was willing to do and to say anything to get elected. 41 chose as his political henchmen two of the most despicable people in recent history, Lee Atwater and Roger Ailes, to do this dirty work. Lee and Roger, who together caused more harm to America in their lifetimes than any two men I can think of at the moment, were the sort of folks 41 ran with.
Before Reagan was elected president in 1980, he sent 41 to negotiate illegally with Iran to continue to hold Americans hostage until after the election. On the day of Reagan’s inauguration, the hostages were finally released. This was no accident; it was planned and negotiated by Bush 41. 41 was also involved neck-deep in the Iran-Contra scandal. We will never know what sort of illegalities he committed during that particular episode, for which he never paid any price.
And then there was 41’s willingness to lie to the American public during his presidential campaign, not only about William Horton and Dukakis but also about his position on new taxes. “Read my lips: No new taxes!” he retorted over and over and over again on the campaign trail, when he knew taxes would have to be raised for the good of the country. Tax hating Republicans never forgave him for that big lie. Spouting and promoting that lie cost 41 a second term, and rightfully so. Clearly, 41 was willing to say and do whatever it took to get elected, so he was no saint. Few people conduct themselves like saints, particularly when they are politicians. Mormons never get tired of referring to themselves as “Latter-Day-Saints,” but most of them don’t act like saints either. No, the fellow in question, Bush 41, was no Saint George, but when compared to the current occupant in the Oval Office, the man I refer to as the Orange Monster (or "OM"), 41 certainly looks like the saintliest of saints.
Despite his many flaws and political gaffes, George H.W. Bush showed a decency and dignity and a respect for the office that he held as our Commander in Chief, that illustrates for us how president are supposed to behave in office, and just how much the OM is utterly devoid of such qualities of leadership or character.
Bush 41, despite having grown up in privilege like OM, was able to act on the world stage with humility and grace. Setting aside the unforgivable “Willie Horton” campaign, Bush 41 did not demonize his political foes, as the OM does. Nor did 41 disgrace his office, as the OM does on a daily if not hourly basis. Rather than attack the rule of law and all of the underlying institutions and norms that uphold our democracy as the OM does, George H.W. Bush acted as a stalwart protector of the institutions of our government.
Indeed, when one compares He Who Must Not Be Named ("HWMNBN") with George H.W. Bush, the contrast could not be more glaring. Even when one compares the OM with President George W. Bush, our 43rdPresident—the second worst president of our entire history—HWMNBN makes even W look like a saint. If, in fact, I was forced to choose between two more years of George W or with the OM, I would choose W. At least W (pronounced double-yuh) possessed some kindness and compassion, even though he went about making horrible mistakes, one right after the next throughout the years he was afforded as our president, a gift handed to him by Bush 41’s judicial appointments on the U.S. Supreme Court. In contrast, the OM is an empty suit, devoid of any good qualities, lacking the slightest bit of competence, and overblown by an inner narcissism that spreads throughout the world a vile lack of compassion or empathy for anyone or anything but himself.
In watching today the funeral honoring our 41st President of the United States, and seeing all of the other living presidents sitting together on the same row, they all, down to a one, look like saints incarnate when sitting next to HWMNBN.