AIDS Epidemic

The Negative Side Of The Presidency Of George H. W. Bush

As George H. W. Bush lies in state before his funeral on Wednesday and his burial on Thursday, praise and plaudits have been visited on the 41st President.

But as with all Presidents and all government leaders worldwide and historically, there is a negative side.

Among the shortcomings of the 41st President are the following in no particular order:

Bush ignored the AIDS Epidemic crisis, much like his predecessor, Ronald Reagan, allowing the Religious Right Wing to set the agenda on a hate campaign against gays and lesbians.

Bush switched his pro choice views on abortion by picking up the Reagan viewpoint on women, and sacrificing his beliefs, while his own wife Barbara quietly continued to support abortion rights.

Bush ran a nasty, dirty, and despicable campaign for President in 1988 against the Democratic nominee, Michael Dukakis, allowing falsehoods and distortions to be promoted, without any consideration of the damage his campaign manager Lee Atwater was engaged in.

Bush pursued a Mideast policy that led to long term disaster, and placing troops on a permanent basis in the Middle East led to September 11 and the Iraq War and Afghanistan War.

Bush as CIA head backed dictatorships in Latin America, particularly in Chile and Argentina.

Bush promoted a tough war on drugs, as Ronald Reagan had done, and it victimized people of color much more than whites, and caused prison terms that are now seen as a failed policy, that did not really get to the issue of how to treat those addicted to drugs.

Bush was involved in the Iran Contra Scandal under President Reagan, never fully explored, and ended up giving pardons to many who were part of that scandal, right before he left office in 1993.

Bush made a horrible appointment to the Supreme Court when he nominated Clarence Thomas in 1991, and the nation has been burdened with his influence for the past 27 years, including many potential future Supreme Court nominees who worked for Thomas, and are now being put on the Circuit Courts under President Donald Trump, setting up a future Court with even greater Thomas impact than just himself.

Bush also gave us the most ill qualified, incompetent Vice President in modern history, Dan Quayle, and when Bush had medical issues in office, it made the nation worry at the thought of a President Quayle.

These nine points mentioned above make an assessment of the ultimate historical significance of George H. W. Bush much more complicated than the fulsome praise now being promoted at the time of his passing.

If Only: Jimmy Carter Had Been President For Second Term! How Would America Be Different?

As we celebrate Barack Obama’s second term victory, and as we thank Bill Clinton for his super efforts for Obama, crucial to Obama’s victory, we can have a wistful moment and wonder:

How would America be different if Jimmy Carter had won a second term as President in 1980?

Ronald Reagan would never have been President, just be seen as a mediocre, second rate actor on Death Valley Days and the General Electric Theater on television, and a few good movies in Hollywood, and a mixed record as two term Governor of California. We would not have him being seen as an icon, a god like figure, totally misrepresented by those who adore him!

We would not have George H. W. Bush as Vice President for eight years, and then be the successor in office after Reagan left.

We would not have had George W. Bush as President, and we would not be speculating about Jeb Bush as possibly a candidate for the 2016 Presidential Election.

We would have had a much more responsive, sympathetic reaction to the rise of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s, and would have saved many lives in the process.

We would not have had a tripling of the national debt, as Carter was very tight fiscally, and added very little to the national debt.

We would have had a President who would have continued his great environmental work into a second term.

We would not have allowed the rich to get richer, and the poor to get poorer, and the maldistribution of wealth to accelerate, and then again occur again under George W. Bush.

We would not have seen the decline of labor unions, caused by Ronald Reagan being our President.

We would have had Vice President Walter Mondale having a much better opportunity to be our President in 1984, a continuation of the tradition and principles of Hubert Humphrey and Minnesota progressivism.

The Iran hostage seizure crisis would have been resolved sooner with Carter having defeated Reagan in November 1980.

The early 1980s would have seen further promotion of human rights, a policy backtracked by Ronald Reagan.

There would have been no friendship with Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and no backing of the South African Apartheid regime.

These are just 12 ways life would have been different if Jimmy Carter had been reelected in 1980. And Carter would not have been constantly attacked and ridiculed as a failed President if he had served a second term.

Oh well……