A Short Requiem for George W.H. Bush

by Yahaya Balogun

A new distinction for the country’s 41st president: George H.W. Bush has become the longest-living president in the country’s history.

“History will point out what I did right, and what I did wrong.” -George H.W. Bush

The 41st Potus—President of the United States of America, George W.H. Bush dies at 94. George Bush was a transitional and transformational leader. “When the word moderation becomes a dirty word, we have some soul searching to do,” He was a true genius and a symbolic representation of American exceptionalism. Bush had numerous political opponents but not enemies. He had humility but not manipulation and indecency. His honesty, integrity and reception to public and media criticisms identified him as an institutionalist with every sense of service and decency.

Certainly, we can’t canonize and venerate George W.H. Bush in the contextual world or real national and international politics, but we can celebrate him for bringing together a beleaguered world that was in need of unity, compassion and love. During the Cold war period, senior Bush was able to negotiate the dismantling of Soviet Union and the historic reunification of the old Germany. In times of national or international argy-bargy, he had to battle with his conscience and humility to make hard and unprofitable decisions at his own political disadvantage. A man who saw war, as the last resort to rescue a vulnerable nation from external threats and aggression. Bush ensued candor and humility at the expense of political expediency.

Meanwhile, one of his historic messages and moments to Americans after his defeat by Bill Clinton was: “I was wrong, they were right……” a rare view of any politician in our modern era. His letter of advice to president Clinton captured the mind of a man with teamwork for the common good of the nation. Senior Bush’s re-evaluation of himself after his bad performance at the presidential election in 1990, and with Bill Clinton’s victory revealed the spirit of sportsmanship, and the true genius of the american exceptionalism in him.

George W.H.Bush’s administrative policies can be questioned and debated but we cannot question his patriotism and love for America and others! Bush was an epitome and emblematic of what America stands for—exceptionalism. One of his defining moments was between 24–28 February, 1991 U.S-led war of Kuwait’s liberation from the monstrous Saddam Hussein of Iraq; and the invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990. Senior Bush was a policy wonk and astute administrator who understood the need to get United Nations support before going to war with Iraq. A sharp distinction between Senior Bush and Junior Bush presidency.

Bush was a uniter and seasoned diplomat with unequaled foreign policy acumen and experience. He was a Congressional man, Ambassador of the United States, Chairman, Republican National Convention, Centeral Intelligence Agency-CIA Director, Vice President and later president of the United States. He was a humble man with stinginess in showcasing his achievements and accomplishments.

George Bush had his flaws as a national and international leader, but how he rebuilt the world in the post Cold war era was ingenious and unprecedented. His representation of decency, prudence and legacy will persuade history to be kinder to him.
Overwhelmingly and domestically, Bush was a man who minused enemies from his political ideology but added more political opponents and friends in his political cocoons. The braggadocio and cockiness of what we see today in our Potus was a complete and conspicuous departure from his consciousness and character. History written with a true “transitional hours” will endure in the mind of those who value freedom, egalitarian society, service and family values!

Existentially, everyone is going to expire one day. What legacy are you leaving behind for people to talk about when you’re no more? President Regan, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Chief Obafemi Awolowo etc. All these people left their indelible footprints in the sand of time. Their signatures are kept in our collective memory.

George Bush was devoted family man; a complete gentleman who has influenced my personal life. Bush had a tumultuous but blissful 73 years of matrimony. A marital relationship that spanned seven decades that no longer exists in America of today. His marriage truly showcased the blissful old marital relationships in American history. His longest marital status will certainly enter the encyclopedia of United States marriage history. A self-deprecated man in times of national comedy and tragedy. His witticisms and humility will be sorely missed in our collective memory. George H.W. Bush came, saw and inputted his legacy in the sand of time.

May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace!

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