Big Red Car here on a day when the sun is struggling with the gloom. Gloom is ahead on points, but the sun is trying to rally.
A befitting, somber mood for the state funeral of President George Herbert Walker Bush.
If you see no other part of that funeral, watch President George W Bush eulogize his father. Bring a handkerchief and be with people in front of whom you are unafraid to cry. But, know that this is the America we all aspire to live in.
In his passing, President George Bush provided a singular act of kindness — he ensured that our current President, Donald J Trump, and our First Lady would be welcome at his funeral and that we would not see a replay of the tawdry Trump bashing which was the John McCain state funeral.
George HW Bush did no “reconcile” with President Trump. He moved on. He called President Trump a “blowhard” in his recent book. But, he moved on from that.
President Trump, for his part, paid his respects to President George HW Bush in the Capitol Rotunda not as an adversary, not as a dismantler of the GOPe (the establishment), but as an admirer. President Trump moved on from his past.
President Trump spoke of the enviable record of President George HW Bush as an American, not as a political opponent. It is a truth that transcends the daily grit of politics and places us where we can turn and see the Shining City on the Hill that we live in.
The Bushes gave it pretty hard to President Trump going out of their way to ensure that America knew that they had not voted for him — in fact, some members of the family made it clear they had voted for Hillary Clinton, thereby not just personalizing their opposition, but abandoning the political party which had seated two Bush Presidents, and two Bush Governors.
Candidate Trump gave it hard to candidate Jeb Bush, the Bush family standard bearer. This was a violent exchange and one which drew blood on both sides.
In the end, President George HW Bush’s single act of kindness bore almost immediate fruit when President Trump put Air Force One at the Bush family’s disposal to smooth the transportation of President Bush’s remains from Texas to Washington and back again to Texas.
Kindness wrought kindness. Kindness begets kindness. These two men moved on from their past and we can also.
So, here is what I hope for our nation: that a single act of kindness can draw forth another act of kindness, that we can be on opposite sides of important issues, but not become enemies, that we can disagree without being disagreeable.
Today, we are united in our respect for and our admiration of a good and great American — a man whose goodness matched his greatness.
But, tomorrow, where shall we be?
Tomorrow, I challenge you to make a single act of kindness. On a personal level, turn loose a single eye dropper of kindness and hope that together we shall create a flood.
Fair winds and following seas, President George HW Bush. America has the watch, sir. A grateful nation honors your life, your legacy, and your kindness.