Why I Am Beginning to Appreciate the Bushes
Recently, at one of his red-meat rallies, Donald Trump — whose image as a bigot “has begun to crystallize” — accused Hillary Clinton of being “a bigot who sees people of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future.”
Friday afternoon, a young black woman, Nykea Aldridge — a mother of four and Dwyane Wade’s cousin — was shot and killed while pushing her baby in a stroller in Chicago’s South Side, apparently by a stray bullet in a gang-related shooting.
Less than 24 hours later — as has become a typical initial Trump response to similar events — the GOP presidential candidate again disgraced himself by using this tragedy as an opportunity to shamelessly go after those very same votes he accused Clinton of taking for granted.
Early Saturday morning Trump tweeted:
Shortly thereafter, Trump corrected the misspelling of Dwyane’s name but left the rest of his outrageous tweet intact.
Then, a couple of hours later, probably because of the rightful backlash he was getting, Trump deleted the tweet and replaced it with a more humane one, expressing his condolences to the Dwyane family.
At the New York Magazine, in a piece titled “Trump Uses the Death of a Chicago Mother to Celebrate Himself,” Chad Danner writes:
Donald Trump, however, saw the story on Saturday morning and characteristically decided that the person he most wanted to help was himself, which he tried to do by connecting Aldridge’s death to the latest redirection of his presidential campaign.
This brings me to the Bush family, whose members’ politics I did not like, whether it be for trading arms for hostages (and covering it up), for the failure to concentrate on the economy or to address the budget deficit, for the disastrous Iraq War, for precipitating the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression or for several other political reasons and issues.
However, one thing that cannot be pegged on the Bushes is that they “celebrated” themselves.
An opinion piece in today’s Washington Post by previous Trump supporter and MSNBC’s Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough corroborates such.
First, Scarborough grouches a little bit about Trump’s nasty personal attacks on himself and on his co-host, Mika:
These days, a rudely out-of-bounds Trump attack surprises Mika and me about as much as a puppy relieving himself on a living room rug. We’ve figured out by now that it does no good to lose your cool with the puppy or Donald Trump, since neither have any control over their bladder or mouth.
Scarborough then shares his impressions of a visit this past weekend to George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush at their home in beautiful Kennebunkport, Maine.
Scarborough recalls how gracious and welcoming the Bushes were, just as gracious as they had been when Scarborough and his family visited them five years earlier.
“Mrs. Bush even asked about my youngest children, who she remembered remarkably well considering the countless guests that have streamed through their world since that summer’s day in 2011. But her human touch is the kind of thing the family always seems to manage with ease. They make others around them feel special” Scarborough says, “despite the fact that” the Bushes have lived such remarkably famous and prestigious lives.
As to celebrating themselves, Scarborough says, as a matter of fact, “…good luck getting George or Barbara Bush talking about themselves. They just don’t do it and they never will.” He continues:
First of all, their parents didn’t allow it. And besides, that kind of thing wasn’t done in the world from which they came. It is just one small way that the ethos of Walker’s Point is so radically different from the mindset that infects Donald Trump’s garish corner office high above 5th Avenue in Trump Towers.
Scarborough recalls his friend, Jon Meacham, lamenting that the same Republican Party that nominated a man like George H. W. Bush, a man who rarely spoke about himself, would now “select a reality TV showman who obsessively talked about little else” and Meacham’s paraphrasing of Henry Adams, “that the historical devolvement from Bush to Trump proves that Darwin’s theory of evolution was less compelling when applied to American politics.”
The Bushes, like them or hate them, did not use human tragedies to celebrate themselves. (George Bush’s strutting on an aircraft carrier in his flight suit proclaiming “Mission Accomplished” could be an exception.)
The GOP presidential candidate does it every chance he gets and has no shame.
That is one of the many reasons that, in some respects, I have begun to appreciate the Bush family.
Everything in life is relative.
Lead image courtesy Donkeyhotey.com