Op-Ed – The Most Qualified President in the History of the United States
Imagine the experience of Mike Gallagher, Nikki Haley, Bob Dole, James Woolsey, Reince Priebus, and Dick Cheney encompassed into one individual. That individual would be George H.W. Bush, the most qualified individual to live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Most people only know George H.W. Bush for his time during the Reagan years and as the 41st president, but his experience spans much further than what meets the eye. He isn’t just the presidential candidate that got carried into office by the success of Ronald Reagan; he’s one of the greatest public servants in the minds of many.
Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, young George Bush enlisted in the U.S. Navy and became the youngest Naval aviator in U.S. history at the age of 18. After attending Yale University obtaining a degree in economics, he moved to Texas where he started his own oil business becoming a millionaire. During the rise of modern conservative, Bush became involved with politics and ran for Senator of Texas in 1964. Jokingly, it seems George Bush was in every aspect of U.S. government except the Senate chambers, as he also lost a senate race in 1970. In between these Senate races, Bush had been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives where he served four years.
In 1971, President of the United States Richard Nixon appointed George Bush as United States Ambassador to the United Nations. Using this experience, he grew contacts and experience in foreign policy. During the Watergate scandal, then President Nixon requested George Bush take the position as chairman of the Republican National Committee. Many believe this was due to the public’s opinion of Bush, as he was known for his honesty and integrity, something many Republicans were lacking. The year of 1974 was a tough time to be a Republican, let along the chairman of the RNC. After the release of the white house tapes, Bush requested that Nixon would resign, as he felt it would be the best for the Republican party.
After the Nixon years, Bush moved on and was appointed Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in the People’s Republic of China. During his approximate one year in China, Bush’s work has been seen as a positive step forward for the growing relationship between China and the United States. After leaving China in 1975, Bush was appointed as Director of Central Intelligence where he supported Operation Condor; a U.S. backed campaign with an initiative to eliminate Communist threats in South America.
Many believed 1980 was the year for a Republican, as polls towards Jimmy Carter were mostly negative. Carter’s disapproval ratings were no surprise, especially with the high levels of inflation and unemployment, along with the Iran hostage crisis. The two front-runners in the 1980 Republican primary were Ronald Reagan, representing what was considered the conservative part of the Republican party, and George H.W. Bush, who represented more of an establishment Republican. Although George Bush was behind in the polls, he managed to travel over 250,000 miles and attended around 850 political events. Bush later withdrew from the campaign as he lost a majority of the primary races against Ronald Reagan.
Lucky for George Bush, he was selected by Ronald Reagan to be his Vice President
Nominee on the 1980 presidential ticket. During his time as Vice President, Bush was placed as chair on two special task force initiatives that were key parts of the Reagan administration, the war on drugs, and deregulation of government. Bush also had a strong presence as the leader of the Senate where he placed two key tie-breaking votes. The first came in 1984 when he cast the vote to approve the creation of the MX Missile System, today is known as the LGM-118 Peacekeeper, a high powered ICBM capable of holding ten warheads. The second tie-breaking vote came for Vice President Bush in 1987, where he cast a vote to prevent the Strategic Defence Initiative from losing approximately $800 million in funding. Bush even helped lay out the groundwork for the U.S. government policy on terrorism, proving his expertise in international affairs.
Finally, in 1988 George H.W. Bush became the 41st president of the United States. Although he was a one-term president, many argue he is the most successful one-term president in history. With continuing Reagan’s foreign policy, the fall of the Soviet Union occurred in 1991. This success didn’t stop as military operations occurring in Panama, and the Persian Gulf were effective in stopping totalitarian regimes from abusing power. Bush broke approval rating records as some polls topped an approval rating of 89%. Although many aspects of his Presidential initiatives came under question, there is little argument the positives of his administration outweigh the negatives.
As apparent in his profound experience in public service, George H.W. Bush is a true American patriot. Conservatives have looked upon him as a hardworking individual that put his country first. Although many consider Bush a part of the “establishment” Republicans, he led the country showing true class and ethics politicians today wish they had. George H.W. Bush’s legacy will live on for generations and for the foreseeable future as the most qualified individual hold the highest office in the land, President of the United States of America.