Readers React: Trump was the ‘pariah in the room’ at George H.W. Bush’s funeral

George H.W. Bush funeral service - Washington, DC
Servicemen carry the casket of former President George H.W. Bush past President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and all living former presidents and their spouses at the Washington National Cathedral on Dec. 5.
(Matt McClain / Washington Post)

To the editor: On Dec. 5, the world watched the state funeral for President George H.W. Bush. The differences between him and our current president, Donald Trump, were very apparent to all.

Bush honored the presidency by valuing honesty, integrity and compromise for the common good. He put family first and gave unconditional love despite challenges he faced, as we all do. Brian Mulroney, the Canadian prime minister during Bush’s term, spoke on behalf of international leaders who regarded the president as a decent man committed to making the world a better place.

The love for this man could be seen by his many friends, especially former Secretary of State James Baker, who sobbed uncontrollably as he sat in the audience. President George W. Bush’s grief consumed him as he spoke of his most remarkable father.

Contrast this with our 45th president, who was the pariah in the room. May the message of kindness, gentleness and character delivered at the funeral cause us to reestablish those as values our country holds dear.


Barbara Gunther, Irvine


To the editor: I voted for Bush for president twice. After days of much homage and praise, I wonder: Where were all these people in November 1992 when he lost the election to Bill Clinton?

Is our collective memory clouded by nostalgia? Attributes such as loyalty and consistency were once seen as stubbornness, especially when Bush stood by Vice President Dan Quayle and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.


It turns out that what decades ago was considered by many voters as weakness and indecisiveness is now seen as forbearance and good character. Better late than never, I suppose.

This is clearly one example as to why history should always be written with a pencil — corrections are likely to be made.

Berta Graciano-Buchman, Beverly Hills


To the editor: Before he was elected to Congress in 1966, Bush campaigned against the 1964 Civil Rights Act. As a mature presidential candidate, he was given an opportunity to redeem himself, but chose not to, instead allowing his campaign to run the infamous, racist Willie Horton ad in 1988.

As president, he replaced the retiring Justice Thurgood Marshall, a civil rights icon, with Clarence Thomas, who was well known for his opposition to much of what Marshall fought for. And he supported Thomas during his confirmation hearings despite credible allegations of sexual harassment.

History will not look kindly on Bush’s legacy on race.

Alan B. Posner, Santa Barbara



To the editor: Enough with the glorification of the Bush dynasty. Am I the only one who remembers, “Read my lips: No new taxes,” only to have the president break his promise?

Bush also let the AIDS crisis spiral out of control, allowing tens of thousands of gay people to die without hope. He snuggled up to the vicious, anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-freedom Saudi dictatorship.

Worst of all, Bush gave us his son as president, who attacked the wrong country after 9/11 and bungled the war effort. The Bushes represent everything that’s wrong with the Republican establishment.

Ray Shelton, Glendale

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