WASHINGTON — Facing the nation for the first time as its president, George H.W. Bush vowed to lead with humility, moral principle and a spirit of unity.
Deep successes “are made not of gold and silk but of better hearts and finer souls,” Bush said in 1989, adding: “America is never wholly herself unless she is engaged in high moral principle. We as a people have such a purpose today. It is to make kinder the face of the nation and gentler the face of the world.”
Nearly three decades later, Bush’s inaugural address stands in sharp contrast with that of President Donald Trump, a fellow Republican whose brand is defined by material success, unrestrained aggression toward his rivals and disdain for traditional coalitions at home and abroad.