In the midst of endless praise for George H.W. Bush’s life and legacy, I took some comfort in the Press Herald Editorial Board’s frankness about some of his failings, which were many (Our View, Dec. 5). Others not mentioned in the editorial include the invasion of Panama on his watch, the nomination of the truly odious Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court and, perhaps worst of all, his veto of the Civil Rights Act of 1990.

I’ve puzzled for years over why citizens are supposed to “honor the office of the presidency.” Why, and what does that mean? The only president in my lifetime who may have deserved that honor was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Presidents are all fallible human beings and not above reproach.

The misdeeds of presidents are whitewashed by the press and the powers that be when they die in an effort to make the average citizen forget the truth. In a word, we are brainwashed.

In a democracy (which is sadly slipping away in the age of Donald Trump), it is crucial that we learn how to think for ourselves. Acknowledging the many serious errors made by Bush and all the other presidents is a crucial step in that direction.

Barbara Doughty


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