Thank You, President Bush

Jeffrey Lord, The American Spectator

A good and decent man and a serious American hero.

May, 1970.

I was having lunch with Pennsylvania Congressman George Goodling in the House Dining Room. I was 19 years old, and, with thousands of other college students, I was in Washington to protest the shooting of four Kent State University kids who were shot to death by the Ohio National Guard in the middle of protests over President Nixon’s decision to invade Cambodia.

Within minutes of Nixon’s televised address to the nation on April 30, college campuses around the country began stirring in protest. Over the course of the next few days the youthful anti-war movement had spun out of control. On May 2, someone set the Kent ROTC building ablaze. Governor James Rhodes was furious and ordered in the Guard. The protests grew, and on May 4 there was a fatal showdown, leaving the four Kent students dead. All hell quickly erupted across the country, with some 500 colleges shutting down. Students from across the nation descended on Washington to protest. In my case, this meant a respectful visit to my congressman, who nicely invited me to lunch to discuss. As we made our way out of the dining room, Goodling paused and introduced me to his friend — Texas Congressman George Bush. We chatted. He was very thoughtful, no airs and heard me out, encouraging my involvement in public affairs.

I was impressed, and dropped him a note thanking him for taking the time to talk to me. To my amazement I got a note back thanking me.

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