Letter: Compromise, moderation marked Bush's approach
The passing of President George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, gave me pause to reflect upon a time when bipartisan spirit and compromise - at least on select issues - drove constructive and meaningful action forward.
Specifically, President Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law on July 26th, 1990. He brought together progressives and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats. Included in the signing ceremony on the White House lawn were people of all persuasions. Amongst them was Justin Dart, President Bush's friend and confidante from Texas, wealthy entrepreneur who himself was a wheelchair user.
At the signing ceremony, President Bush uttered words oft repeated, "Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down." Indeed, years later, he looked upon passage of the ADA as one of his proudest accomplishments as President.
What has happened since? At this time, there is an effort to weaken the ADA. Corrections to unforeseen consequences need to occur but not by weakening a very important and impactful piece of civil rights legislation. Indeed there is animosity and distrust to the point where very little appears to come to fruition in our nation's capital - even in areas where there should be mutual agreement and relatively easy compromise.
May the spirit of President George H.W. Bush prevail over time. May reasonable compromise and moderate views and a willingness to work together on a practical level to achieve what is right for all Americans win out. I remember this as President Bush's legacy. Hopefully many others do also and indeed devote their energies to preserving that legacy.
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