President Bush speaks to Association for Financial Professionals
Former President George W. Bush spoke to the Association for Financial Professional’s annual convention this month in Denver. He discussed the joys of having grandchildren, the role of government and his role in one of America’s most turbulent times.
He continues to worry about terrorist attacks, since they are better funded and have a safe haven in which to plan. The former President notes that the absence of U.S. influence and presence in dangerous parts of the world emboldens our enemies. Without naming the current administration, he suggests if our tactics aren’t working, then change the tactic.
Israel is our one true ally in the region so we should continue close relations and notes the lesson of democracy taking hold in Japan: ‘former enemies become allies”.
Domestically, former President Bush says we need to grow the private sector by reducing regulation and consider trade and tax policy’s effect on business. Citing the Keystone pipeline, he feels this has been a missed opportunity for high wage employment. He sees opportunity in China, with its 350 million citizens in the middle class, as long as trade rules are fair.
The lesson of September 11, he says, is that “evil is real. People will kill for political reasons”. When confronted with crisis, he says project calm and explain that “we’re going to deal with it”.
Several attendees commented how surprised they were at how funny and self-effacing the former President showed himself to be. He told of how he stated Abraham Lincoln was the best President, next to his father, and his wife Laura was the best First Lady. That’s when he realized his mom was sitting there listening.
He also points out, “Grandkids are one of the few things not overrated”.
Former President Bush remains hopeful for America’s future, citing that the generation coming up cares for people. “Government doesn’t fix problems, neighbors do,” he says. “I know we’re a spiritual country in our core,” and that gives us strength.