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The Editors

George H.W. Bush, American Patriot

The country misses the virtues he exemplified.

A brave and decent man.

A brave and decent man.

Photographer: Matt Sayles/Associated Press/Getty Images

The death of the 41st president will be much mourned this week, his passing serving as a memorial to a seemingly vanished era of temperance and civility in Washington. His “kinder and gentler” style of politics stands in unavoidable contrast to that of the current occupant of the White House. But this should not occlude the main reason to celebrate the life of George Herbert Walker Bush — namely that he was both a patriot and a politician, and understood those roles as intimately connected and complementary.

He sought power for himself, but tried to exercise it for the benefit of others.