George W. Bush Comes to Tyler

by admin on October 21, 2010

in Tyler Businesses

Former President George W. Bush paid a visit to the University of Texas at Tyler’s Cowan Center Tuesday evening and after taking a day to reflect on the visit I thought I would offer my own interpretation of the event. Having seen both Bushes speak during and after their terms, I can certainly attest to the fact that presidents are much more fun after their terms are over.

Once the pressure to maintain the balance between political expediency and governmental principle is off, they are less measured, and more relaxed in their speeches. They also tend to discuss their experiences on a more personal level. The President’s lecture on Tuesday night was a laid back discussion of the principles that governed his administration. Mr. Bush avoided criticizing his successor or addressing current political issues in a partisan way. The format of his talk was quite unique.

The President took the audience on a descriptive tour of his oval office, and used the paintings, busts and other points along the way as opportunities to illustrate of his philosophy of life and government. Along the way he jokingly promoted his new book entitled Decision Points, which will be making its appearance in stores early next month.

The high point for me was the president’s passionate belief in, and defense of, liberty and natural law. In an era when a Supreme Court justice denies the principle of self- evident human equality at her confirmation, it was inspiring to hear a statesman reaffirm the principle upon which our liberty has been based for two- hundred plus years.

Mr. Bush asserted that freedom is an inborn gift from the Creator to all of humanity, not government to its citizens. At times the old fire in the belly resurfaced as he once again asserted the desire and ability of the Iraqi people to live in freedom. The former President also expressed concern for the women and children of Afghanistan who still face religious tyranny in Taliban controlled regions of the country.

Toward the end of the evening, the former President also spoke openly about his faith as a source of guidance and strength during his time as the nation’s leader. He reflected on his view of prayer, and religion as a young man, and spoke of the changes in his own life as a result of his embrace of Christ and the Methodist Church. I have been a supporter of Mr. Bushes over the years, and while I have disagreed with him on this and that, I have always believed him a man who, like him or hate him, agree or disagree, did what he did out of a sense of conscience, and duty.

Tuesday night I saw that man again. I’m finding that I miss “Dubya.” I miss his plain spoken sense of duty, his unapologetic love of country, and his unashamed belief in faith and prayer. Thanks for the visiting Tyler Mr. President, and thank you for your service. For more information on events coming to the Cowan Center, see the website at http://www.uttyler.edu/cowan.

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