If not our vote, our respect

Roses drift on the waves carrying respect and love from those left behind.Country music performer Garth Brooks filled Notre Dame stadium in October. The show was carried on CBS Sunday night. It ran until 10 p.m.

Sunday night at 10 is the usual time for “Madame Secretary.” For the non-political TV watchers, Téa Leoni portrays the Secretary of State in a show based on political news, mostly world wide, that occupy presidential work days.

“NCIS: Los Angeles” normally runs Sundays at 9 p.m.

Last Sunday, CBS did not show “Madame Secretary.” Instead, they aired a “NCIS: LA” rerun at 10 p.m.. I thought that a significant statement of the nation’s political climate in 2018.

Monday, President George H.W. Bush’s return to Washington, D.C., once coverage began, pushed out even the commercials.

Each time I looked at George W., I wiped a fresh set of tears. I remember burying my dad. We had our differences, but he was my dad.

I actually kind of liked GHWB. I didn’t vote for him. But I respected him. I remember him being, at least seemingly publicly, Ronald Reagan’s sidekick. Some of my first real political discussions were about a vice president’s mandate to quietly support his boss’ policies, at least publicly. When 41 ran to take the nation’s reins from his former commander, we wondered what, besides Reagan’s coattails, he would have to support his candidacy.

But he oversaw the end of the Cold War – the tearing down of the Berlin Wall that had divided Germany and, symbolically, East and West, for nearly 30 years. The wall’s also, marked the dissolution of the CCCP — The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which most of us called simply The Soviet Union (and often, though erroneously, by the name of it’s largest member nation, Russia).

It’s worth inserting here that when I was a kid, our family never talked politics. When Barry Goldwater ran for president, I was old enough to have an opinion or two, but my parents would not allow them to be voiced. I never knew for certain how they would have voted.

Then I enlisted in the Navy. For most of the 20 years ending with my retirement, I paid little attention to politics, especially presidential. I went where my Commander-in-Chief ordered. But when I retired in 1985, halfway through the presidency of President Reagan, I began to notice and, eventually, develop my political philosophy.

When he was up for reelection, George H.W. Bush, to this political youth, had no idea what to do once the Cold War was ended. He said, “No new taxes,” but I never thought that was the reason for his loss; sometimes prices and needs change. On the other hand, when he was caught on TV not knowing about those new-fangled scanners at the grocery store checkout, he really did graphically illustrate the separation between some of the wealthy elite and the working stiffs they wanted to “serve.”

I remember thinking how he would have been elected had he kept Desert Storm going a couple weeks longer. We do love guns and white hats. In fact, I still believe that, and offer as proof the “Madame Secretary” vs. “NCIS:LA” swap Sunday night. Country music, hot bodies and hot cars are still a staple combination among enough of us to make a television network change its Sunday lineup. (Even I would not turn down tickets to a Willie Nelson concert, or the keys to a 2020 Ford Bronco.) It was good to see Bush 41 honored this week. Honoring our former presidents, even those with whom we politically disagreed, is something we must do. It honors our nation, and what makes it special. We have had our differences, but they were our presidents.

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