Last Friday, George Bush sr passed away.
As someone who slowly became aware of politics during Bush sr’s tenure, I have conflicting thoughts on the matter. How do you balance signing the Americans with Disabilities Act with his and Regan’s dismissal of the HIV epidemic that borders on genocidal? How do you balance a man who got us into a land war we’re largely still fighting (Iraq) with a statesman who appreciated and even respected those who mocked and belittled him, like Saturday Night Live?
I choose a rare stance for me, which is not to get involved. When you debate the legacy of a person, you choose which memories to highlight. Not a trivial task, but I choose to focus on one image, that being his service dog sitting by his casket. The emotions of a dog can’t wipe clean the efforts and results of one’s life. But I find myself incapable of believing that a man who earned a dog’s love and trust can be truly all bad.
Let the debate rage. Partake in it if you wish. I’m not saying it’s wrong too, quite the opposite. Just, for my piece of the day, I’ll acknowledge the sorrow of a dog. And I’ll acknowledge that a human being has died. And I hope to never grow so callous as to show sympathy when a person – any person – has passed.