George H.W. Bush and the Thousand Points of Light

What can we remember George H.W. Bush for? Is it fair to say that Operation Desert Storm was our last truly successful war?

How about GHWB’s “Thousand Points of Light” speech in 1988? He celebrated volunteerism, but between 1988 and 2018 the government has grown to consume a larger percentage of GDP and provide a larger array of services to anyone who might previously have been the target of a volunteer effort. Is it fair to say that the U.S. has turned its back on this idea? We chose a bigger government rather than relying on citizen effort? Or has the time people put into voluntary “civil society” organizations just moved online? (see “N.J. woman in alleged GoFundMe scam was duped by boyfriend, homeless man, lawyer says ‘I’m confident that in the end the evidence will reveal that Kate had only the best intentions,’ said the woman’s attorney.” (NBC))

GHWB was the last pre-consumer-Internet president. Could that be one reason why there aren’t a lot of folks who hate him? Newspapers didn’t have to fight for readers with outrage-generating headlines. There was no Facebook where one could display one’s virtue by expressing outrage at a politician’s actions or statements.

Readers: What do you remember as salient about GHWB and his Presidency?

7 thoughts on “George H.W. Bush and the Thousand Points of Light

  1. I feel like Bush’s legacy is the first Iraq war, which was the biggest foreign policy debacle since Vietnam. We would be ahead trillions of dollars and millions of lives saved if the US had just let Iraq annex the repulsive governments of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The rise of islamic fascism would have been controlled instead of being unleashed.

  2. During Bush’s term communism, the worst economic system in world history and one of the most barbaric political systems collapsed freeing about 350 million people. The end was certainly hastened by the big defense build up during the Reagan/Bush administration – which the intelligentsia ridiculed as the machinations of a mad man and dunce– remember the million plus demonstrators in NYC in 1982 marching in favor of “nuclear disarmament entertained by prescient political prognosticators like Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne and Joan Baez. Don’t know GHWB’s precise role in the demise of communism but I imagine it was substantial.

  3. The end of communism 1.0, the mass layoffs & budget cuts that followed. Career defining projects lasting 30 years suddenly ended. He was really the turning point away from the military buildup that endured since WWII. Today’s military capability is still mainly what Reagan left behind. He wasn’t liked at all during his presidency, but maybe experienced a revival like peanuthead Carter.

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