Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Speaking ill of the dead

The TV news, web sites and papers have been all about nothing else other than the fact that George Bush the First is still dead for the past several days. Also, his greatness and his awesomeness.

He was not great. For one thing, in spite of lip service, he continued his predecessor's policy of largely ignoring the HIV/AIDS crisis. From the ACT-UP web site we have this, for example:

September 1, 1991: 2500 AIDS activists marched on President Bush's vacation home in Kennebunkport, Maine to demand leadership and to declare that THE AIDS CRISIS CAN END. After a die-in on the road to the Bushs' house, activists unrolled a fifty foot long banner which outlined a 32-point plan to end the AIDS Crisis. The next day the President said that he was more moved by the demonstration of the unemployed the week before. "That one hit home" he said, "because when a family is out of work, that's one that I care very much about.“
September 30, 1991: ACT UP targets President Bush at the White House, declaring that, with over 120,000 Americans dead from AIDS, the President is getting away with murder. In a loud and angry march to the White House, activists demanded that the President stop his deliberate policy of neglect. Eighty-four people were arrested in acts of civil disobedience that included chaining themselves to the gates of the White House and to each other. Bush spent the day in Disney World.
Bush, in the end, bowed to the same extremists Reagan did when it came to AIDS and LGBTQ rights. As The Washington Post noted, Bush allowed evangelicals to mature as a movement within the GOP after Reagan brought them in, rather than pushing back. . . .
And after Buchanan, who Bush offered a prime slot at the Republican National Convention in Houston, gave his infamous “culture war” speech, declaring there is a “religious war” in this country, and attacking, among others, the “militant homosexual rights movement,” Bush refused to denounce the speech and instead publicly denounced same-sex marriage, which was nowhere near a reality at the time. This prompted even the Log Cabin Republicans, the largest gay GOP group, to refuse to endorse him.
Meanwhile, the GOP platform that year condemned anti-discrimination statutes protecting gays and lesbians, and, responding to Democratic nominee Bill Clinton’s campaign promise to end the ban on gays serving in the military, adopted a plank banning gay service.
He also practiced and furthered the racist campaign tactics that have defined the Republican party since Richard Nixon, for example the famous Willie Horton ad, and filled his administration with religious extremists.  

The result is apparent for all to see.


1 comment:

Don Quixote said...