In 1988 I was young. In 1988 I was still very influenced by my upbringing. In 1988 I was financially successful. In 1988 I was selfish. In 1988 I voted with my wallet, I remember making that decision on purpose …to vote for a conservative financial policy, that at that time I believed benefitted me, over social policy. In 1988 I voted for George H.W. Bush for president.
My politics changed during the George H.W. Bush presidency. I matured. I moved away from my conservative roots. I realized that I resonated with liberal social policy and with liberal financial policy over those policies of the conservatives. In 1992 I voted for Bill Clinton.
Looking back, I disagreed with much of the politics of George H.W. Bush. I lived through the AIDS crisis and lost more friends and lovers than I wish to count. I hated his war. I grew to completely disagree with trickle down economics, tax cuts and reductions in societal safety nets.
In fact I came to resent the politics of the entire Bush family.
Yesterday I flew through Houston on my way home to San Diego from Ft. Lauderdale. I had a tight connection and had to practically run to make it to my next gate. As I made my way as fast as I could my stride was stopped in its tracks as I passed this at the George H.W. Bush International Airport:
I’ve passed that statue many times. I’ve even stopped to read the honorarium in times past when I needed to pass some time at this airport. The wall is filled with the history and the achievements of service that he gave to his country. From his service in World War II through his service after his presidency. George H.W. Bush was devoted to his country and to democracy.
Yesterday in my rush I not only stopped in my tracks, I paused. I paused to respect a man for his service. I paused to respect a man for his honor. I paused to realize that he valued political discorse. I paused to acknowledge that although we differed, he also believed in human rights, freedom, immigration, respect, service, compromise, representation and his country. I paused to respect that he valued a greater good for community, he valued society and he valued the world.
We had differences, but we had commonality. I began to cry.
I got to my next flight as Fearsome absorbed my silent tears. I wept for my country. I wept in hope that the future of our politics will one day soon again allow discussion, understanding, compromise, progress, respect and honor.