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We have a lot to learn from Bush legacy



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Last week was an interesting one for the world. Whichever way some people may want to look at it or even what others may interpret from events that have been happening in recent times, it would not be quite right to assume that the role of America in the history of the world and what happens globally can be taken for granted.

On Wednesday last week the life of the 41st President of the United States George H.W. Bush was celebrated at the National Cathedral in Washington DC. I watched the event and it was truly moving.

In that celebration there were many people. I saw former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and their wives. Later, the current US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania arrived. Even though I previously did not know very much about George H.W. Bush, the event at the National Cathedral, and what I have been hearing since his demise, have made me feel like I was American. Incidentally if I was, I would belong to the Democratic Party going by the developments in the country.

Since I am not, and when I listen to the story of George H.W. Bush, I suspend my choice of an American political party and accept the fact that Bush was about country and about people and not about himself.

He comes out as a great human being besides being a good President. Quite obviously he was not about his party but about America.

He was President for only four years but he achieved so much even with a Congress that was dominated by the Democrats just as was the Senate. Incidentally that bipartisan approach is the understanding many of us who accept America as a world leader have always had until the coming of the current administration.

In my view, that Bush celebration was about legacy. Quite obviously the late President left a great legacy to his family and also to America. He comes out as having been a great public servant, a great parent, a great friend, a man who understood diplomatic leadership and a man who loved America.

Those of us who followed the American elections in 2016 remember the things the current President of America said about the Bush family. That Bush accepted that the current President should be invited to his funeral, in spite of everything, says a lot about his respect for institutions.

Sometimes I wonder whether those of us who get into national leadership are able to learn from leaders like George H.W. Bush for he was a real role model.

Fr Wamugunda is the dean of students and a lecturer of sociology at the University of Nairobi. [email protected]