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Donald Trump

Death of George H.W. Bush underlines what’s lost under Trump: the dignity of the office of the US president

  • George H.W. Bush was known for qualities associated with presidents past, including compassion – a stark contrast to the ‘America first’ ethos of Donald Trump
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 December, 2018, 2:17am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 December, 2018, 11:06am

It is a compelling example of stark contrast that in the week of the passing of former US president George H.W. Bush, we are reading once again of the disturbing approach to presidential duty shown by Donald Trump.

As George Cassidy Payne so impressively writes in his letter (“Tear gas used on children: this is not my America”, December 3), inhumanity is taken to wretched new levels by Trump’s attempt to defend the indefensible – the tear-gassing of children trying to cross the border into the United States. One’s natural sense of horror is not apparently shared by President Trump, however.

From Noon Day Gun to talking China: George H.W. Bush in Hong Kong

That said, such natural instincts that one would expect to have existed in a father were perhaps deadened by his earlier decision – later overturned by a judge – to split and detain children away from their parents in similar situations. What an example of an upping of the ante Trump’s latest action is.

In contrast, George H.W. Bush epitomised the characteristics of proud presidents past, but sadly not present – dignity, respect for not just political opponents but for the office of the president itself, and compassion for the weakest in society, and not just in American society, which is Trump’s self-declared only concern, at the expense of all others, as his words and actions sadly confirm.

I’m sure Chinese President Xi Jinping has this very much in mind during his current trade negotiations.

Jonathan Lewis, Mong Kok