George HW Bush, while not an overly favorite person of mine, he had his moments. So I have his funeral on now. Why ? I am fascinated by pomp and circumstance - though not always the circumstances. I like watching the military pallbearers maneuver the casket up stairs, and all that stuff.
Observations : While all the living Presidents and mates, were in place - the latest one arrived last. A few very awkward handshakes, and some particularly stoney expressions on the faces of Michelle Obama, and Hillary Clinton - no wonder.
It strikes me that "he" looks so incredibly out of place next to the rest of the line-up of better men and women.
It also strikes me how a standard funeral really exposes the bullshit of religion. It becomes so obvious as passages are read, how all of the god stuff was created to give survivors something comforting - or whatever - to say when people die.
Geez. Some decent music now and then though ...
I was at lunch today with my family. I knew that my sister was a Trump supporter. Don't worry, it's definitely not genetic. I decided to ask her what she thought of him. She focused on the media criticizing him and needing to leave him alone and get the job done. She did, to her credit I guess, mention that he needed to stop the stupid tweats. She said she thought the economy was doing really well. I asked her what she thought about the way Mattis resigned. She said she didn't know how that was. She doesn't know the stock market tanked. She doesn't know who Mattis even is. She's getting her opinions from other people in her circle and on Facebook. She works hard and doesn't follow the news. She's very blue collar. I think that's a huge factor. Many of his supporters just aren't aware of the reality of his actions. It's frightening. I thanked her for sharing and had some more fries. That's not a ship I can turn. It was interesting to get a glimpse inside the mind of a Trump supporter.
I rarely ever hear any tangible wisdom preached at a funeral (usually just "in a better place" with an occasional accusatory "the rest of you better get right with Jeebus" ) and my mind tends to glaze over at some of the pablum being offered. Yet, it also offers much insight into the ritual of dealing with loss and the finality of death. I remember attending a service for a coworker's daughter. Shortly before it came to its conclusion, the mother let out a plaintive wail that morphed into continuous sobs. The intensity of that pain still haunts me.
I had a similar discussion with a coworker yesterday. We both work in a library (I'm a librarian) and she was in the process of creating a book display in honor of George H. Bush. During the ex- president's life I considered him an ignorant, evil man. My views have not changed because he has passed.
It is very rare for me to mention politics at work. I don't bring it up because, for many, it is a hot topic and many people feel very strongly about their political positions and often feel passionately (positively or negatively) about a politician.
I questioned a display devoted to the former president because it confused me. There are many (but far, not all) in the LGBT community that have strong opinions about George H. Bush's HIV platform. He refused to fund research in hopes of finding a cure. He followed in the footsteps of his predecessor (Ronald Reagan) and wouldn't put tax dollars towards finding a cure (or a prevention or any help that might slow the spreading of the disease) because the disease was, in his eyes, preventable. People just needed to change their behavior. Period.
His beliefs regarding HIV (during Reagan's presidency it was called "gay cancer" ) cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of American citizens because he delayed research. This delay resulted in additional millions (worldwide) dying from this horrible and painful death sentence.
A display honoring this man? I wasn't criticizing the display. The theme just surprised me. Didn't everybody know that George Bush senior has been labeled as a mass murderer because of his lack of action? No, many do not know. Many others don't really care. They remember him as a good man. A good family man. A good and strong president.
Isn't he the president who asked the question - out loud, in front of journalists - if atheists are American citizens? Yes he is and he did ask that question. In public. In front of cameras.
George H. Bush was neither a good man nor a good president. He relied heavily on his religious beliefs and allowed a horrendous disease to spread without hesitation. And he never changed his mind on the issue after leaving office. He died without publicly acknowledging the massive harm he has caused for millions of men and women - gay and straight and to their families and other loved ones.
And, yes I'm an atheist and a proud American citizen. Card carrying, in fact.
My coworker finished the display and it was very tasteful and all books were checked out by the end of the day. Rarely are library displays as successful. My massive, beautifully done Science Fiction display (took 3 days to complete) had two empty spots at days end.
I remember where I was when Ronald Reagan was publicity pronounced dead. The establishment erupted in applause. I had never seen such a blatant display of disrespect for the recently deceased. I did not applaud (that's not how I react to hearing of the passing of another human being). But I understand why others did. They most likely lost friends and/or other loved ones to a disease Mr. Reagan thought only effected the gay community. Mr. Reagan wasn't a fan of the LGBT community. At all.
George H. Bush was more matter of fact than his predecessor. He knew the Bible stated that being gay is wrong, so he believed it. He believed the spread of disease would stop. People just had to change their behavior. But people don't. Partners unknowingly gave it to their partners, husbands unknowingly gave it to their wives, their wives gave birth to babies born with HIV and watched them as they died. Mr. Bush wasn't hateful. He made blind decisions based on what his holy book stated. He was ignorant. And this ignorance cost the lives of so many people and continues to take the lives of so many more.
George H. Bush. May he rest in peace. But I'm okay if he doesn't go down in history as a good man or as a good president.
Just a few thoughts.
The negative and damageing effect trump has on people as a president is unlike things we have seen throughout our nations history. A man who can so deeply divide a nation and think it right has no place in office. He has no respect for the office he holds. Other presidents should and do take offense to this, as they should. While GHW Bush wasnt my favorite guy, he respected the office and whst it stood for. He genuinely cared about the best course of action for his country. Some of those actions I don't agree with, but he believed they were the best options at thst time and that it was best for the country as a whole, not just the few. I have to respect that. Thats the respect the was in turn showed to him.
As soon as Angry Orange Clown showed up the mood of all the ex presidents and their wives changed... And he stand there with the demeanor of a five year old forced to eat his vegetables.
He's such a horrible human being with no empathy for anyone but himself.
I too am fascinated with the ceremonial observances, especially with the military. I observed all the branches of military were represented in the ball bearers, wondered how much skill and practice it must take to keep the coffin level while navigating steps, and wondered how these men were selected for this honor.
And then there was Trump...looking so out of place. It was so very obvious.
Decent music, huh? I didn't watch that much. I thought Michelle was showing extra class once again, just by shaking Trump's hand. He was extremely out of place. Toxic to any room he enters anyway. I was wondering what Trump's funeral will be like. I bet he was too. Imagining the crowd size, which will be the smallest ever!