Visiting my wife’s cousin for two nights in McKinney Texas presented a welcome respite from 500+ mile distances covered in the initial days of our our road trip. While my wife went shopping for the day, I overlooked my left-leaning political biases to visit the nearby George W. Bush Presidential Center this afternoon. The symmetrically brick structure and surrounding lawn on the campus of Southern Methodist University would appear somewhat somber in comparison to the architecture of other Presidential Centers I had visited.
The interior of the museum divided into two, horizontal pathways separated by an entrance hall lined with panels of luxurious gifts presented to President Bush from countries around the world. Along the larger side, I observed the domestic and foreign policy challenges faced by the Bush Presidency. Excellent graphics/video explanation allowed me to learn more about 9/11, the controversial 2000 election and immigration policy in a factual way. As a past educator , I spent considerable time at the exhibition entitled “No Child Left Behind” and enjoyed sharing my opposing views about learning strategies with dedicated museum volunteers who frequented this area. In the smaller opposite corridor, I walked briskly through “Portraits of Courage” displaying a painting exhibition of tragic heroes from the 2003 Iraqi war.
Seeing the human side of President Bush through his daughters words in video seemed to soften my past criticism of him now. They most certainly raised a convincing argument of G.W.B’s devotion to his family, as well as his honest service to his Texan heritage and the country at large. Nor could I find fault with his love of laugh or his avid interest in sports.
I concluded my visit today at a replica of the Bush Oval Office and again recalled my vehement opposition to this President as Executive leader. I certainly could have found something better to do on my free day in Dallas. Yet it seems good to hear the “other side” once in awhile. Take note Donald Trump.