Character Matters: George H. W. Bush

"George Bush was beacon of civility in a cruel profession. What I have learned about him since his exit from office is the exact opposite of what we see in politics today." - SBC Voices

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Aaron Blumer's picture


Of GHWB, I often thought, "I dislike some of his policies, but he's a good man." Of DT, I have to say, "I like some of his policies, but he's not a good man." Which of the two evaluations is better?

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

G. N. Barkman's picture

The 2016 election was not between Trump and Bush, as welcome as that would have been to some people, but between Trump and Clinton.  Only one of those two candidates could become the next president.  Given that choice, my vote went to Trump with fingers firmly pinching my nose.  Those who failed to vote, or voted for a third party candidate wasted their votes and actually aided Clinton by reducing the number of votes from the only candidate who was capable of preventing her presidency.

Most people would probably agree that Jimmy Carter was a good man, but political philosophy matters.  Would I vote for Carter over Trump?  No.  A good man with bad policies and poor judicial appointments will do a lot of long term damage.

To illustrate from another realm, a Pastoral candidate with impeccable character but poor doctrine should not be chosen because he is a good man.  Doctrine matters.  Conversely, a man with solid doctrine but questionable character should likewise be rejected.  Rejecting one candidates does not automatically install another.  Churches have more options, but in American politics, presidential elections always eventually narrow down to two viable candidates.  The wisest course is often to support a disappointing candidate in order to prevent one who is worse.

G. N. Barkman