当前位置:首页 > America's Presidents > 正文

George H.W. Bush: Cautious

2017-12-11

源 稿 窗
大字
小字
 折叠显示 
 全文显示 
[00:05.60]
  • VOA Learning English presents America’s Presidents.
  • [00:11.84]
  • Today we are talking about George Herbert Walker Bush.
  • [00:18.13]
  • Before he became president in 1989, Bush had a lot of experience in government.
  • [00:25.43]
  • He spent four years in the United States House of Representatives,
  • [00:30.29]
  • worked as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations,
  • [00:34.29]
  • and led the Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA.
  • [00:40.40]
  • Then, for eight years, he was vice president under Ronald Reagan.
  • [00:46.47]
  • Interestingly, in U.S. history, a person serving as vice president rarely becomes president after the sitting president leaves office at the end of his term.
  • [00:59.98]
  • Before George H.W. Bush, the last time such an event happened was in 1836.
  • [01:07.87]
  • At that time, Martin Van Buren took office after the two-term presidency of Andrew Jackson.
  • [01:15.87]
  • Yet neither Bush nor Van Buren was able to successfully deal with some of the problems facing the country during their years in office,
  • [01:27.97]
  • or to persuade voters to elect them for a second term.
  • [01:33.02]
  • While many people respect Bush for his foreign policy successes,
  • [01:38.46]
  • his years in office are also remembered as a time of economic problems and social unrest.
  • [01:48.32]
  • Early Life
  • [02:03.46]
  • George Bush was born into a wealthy family in Massachusetts,
  • [02:08.82]
  • and raised in a Connecticut town near New York City.
  • [02:13.40]
  • He had three brothers and a sister.
  • [02:16.82]
  • Their father was a business leader who became a U.S. senator.
  • [02:22.83]
  • Their mother was active doing public service work.
  • [02:27.07]
  • The family employed servants, but Mrs. Bush did not want her children’s privileged position to make them think they were special.
  • [02:38.91]
  • Instead, she taught them to work hard and help others.
  • [02:44.78]
  • When he was a young man, George Bush moved away from home to attend a private high school in Massachusetts.
  • [02:53.42]
  • There, he played baseball and soccer, and was elected student body president.
  • [03:00.65]
  • On his 18th birthday, Bush joined the U.S. Navy.
  • [03:06.36]
  • For three years, he fought in World War II.
  • [03:10.00]
  • At the time, he was the youngest pilot in the Navy, and earned a medal for bravery.
  • [03:18.14]
  • In early 1945, he married a young woman he had met at a dance. Her name was Barbara Pierce.
  • [03:28.26]
  • After the war, she and George moved to Connecticut, where he studied economics at Yale University and played on the school’s baseball team.
  • [03:40.01]
  • In time, they moved to the southern state of Texas.
  • [03:46.13]
  • George Bush worked in the oil industry, and became president of a company that sold oil drilling equipment.
  • [03:55.78]
  • George and Barbara Bush mostly raised their four sons and one daughter in the Houston, Texas area.
  • [04:05.82]
  • Another daughter died of cancer when she was a child.
  • [04:10.50]
  • In time, George Bush decided to follow his father’s example and enter politics.
  • [04:18.22]
  • He became a Republican Party official.
  • [04:21.57]
  • Then he was elected to the U.S. Congress, representing part of Houston.
  • [04:27.56]
  • Despite having a home in Texas, opponents and the public connected Bush with the East Coast and the upper class.
  • [04:37.63]
  • That image created some problems for Bush in the presidential election of 1980.
  • [04:44.97]
  • By then, he had held other high offices in the federal government,
  • [04:49.54]
  • and had been successful as the head of the CIA.
  • [04:54.35]
  • But voters liked another Republican candidate, former California governor Ronald Reagan.
  • [05:01.96]
  • Many Americans remembered Reagan from his days in movies and on television.
  • [05:08.50]
  • When Reagan was nominated as the party’s candidate for president, he asked Bush to be vice president.
  • [05:17.41]
  • For eight years, Bush held the office, and worked closely with Reagan on foreign policy and other issues.
  • [05:26.48]
  • In 1988, Bush finally won the presidency in his own right.
  • [05:32.62]
  • Presidency
  • [05:57.27]
  • On entering the White House, the new president promised to continue many of Reagan’s policies of limited government.
  • [06:07.19]
  • While he was a candidate, Bush often said that, if elected, he would not raise taxes.
  • [06:14.99]
  • Bush also said that he wanted the United States to be “a kinder and gentler” nation.
  • [06:22.47]
  • He wanted especially to support community organizations in their efforts to reduce crime, homelessness, and drug abuse.
  • [06:32.96]
  • He also signed legislation to help people with disabilities, and to protect the environment.
  • [06:41.52]
  • But Bush faced a number problems.
  • [06:45.75]
  • One was a large budget deficit, created in part by increased military spending during the Reagan years.
  • [06:55.26]
  • Another were disputes in Congress with the Democratic Party.
  • [07:00.10]
  • And another was a banking crisis.
  • [07:03.86]
  • After years of problems in the savings and loan industry,
  • [07:08.29]
  • more than 1,000 small financial institutions failed.
  • [07:13.94]
  • In time, Congress agreed to spend billions of dollars to help the industry recover.
  • [07:22.25]
  • And President Bush had to break his promise not to raise taxes.
  • [07:28.61]
  • He pointed out that he needed to balance the budget;
  • [07:32.51]
  • however, many Americans and some members of his own party felt betrayed.
  • [07:39.95]
  • The economic troubles helped create a mood of unrest in the country.
  • [07:45.68]
  • The feeling was strengthened by events around the world.
  • [07:50.42]
  • Soon after Bush took office, the Chinese government launched a campaign to stop protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
  • [08:00.53]
  • A few months later, the Berlin Wall came down.
  • [08:04.71]
  • The wall separated East and West Germany.
  • [08:08.82]
  • Many considered its collapse to be the end of the Soviet Union’s control of Eastern Europe.
  • [08:16.11]
  • At the same time, the leader of Panama, Manuel Noriega, was threatening Americans.
  • [08:24.35]
  • He was also accused of supporting drug traffickers and the drug trade in the United States.
  • [08:31.40]
  • Bush answered all the events in a calm, cautious way.
  • [08:37.21]
  • He tried to keep good relations with China and the Soviet Union.
  • [08:42.26]
  • In time, he ordered military action in Panama, and U.S. troops ousted Noriega.
  • [08:50.89]
  • Supporters praised Bush’s cool head and way of doing things.
  • [08:57.48]
  • But critics questioned Bush’s decisions. Some said he went too far.
  • [09:04.71]
  • Others said he did not go far enough.
  • [09:08.98]
  • The same criticisms and support were repeated during the Gulf War against Iraq.
  • [09:16.52]
  • In brief, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein ordered his forces to invade and occupy Kuwait.
  • [09:26.06]
  • Bush and other world leaders created an international coalition to seek a diplomatic solution.
  • [09:34.77]
  • When diplomacy failed, U.S. troops led international air strikes against Iraq.
  • [09:42.51]
  • Coalition forces also attacked on the ground.
  • [09:46.94]
  • In a few weeks, the Iraqi leadership agreed to a ceasefire.
  • [09:52.78]
  • Some criticized Bush for letting Saddam Hussein stay in power.
  • [09:58.86]
  • But the American public largely approved of Bush’s actions.
  • [10:04.02]
  • He won praise for helping create an international coalition to answer the Iraqi occupation.
  • [10:12.51]
  • The effort showed what some called a “New World Order.”
  • [10:17.67]
  • The U.S. and Soviet Union had even worked successfully together.
  • [10:23.39]
  • Yet, soon after the end of the Gulf War, Bush failed in his efforts at re-election.
  • [10:31.11]
  • The U.S. economy had entered a recession.
  • [10:34.96]
  • And Bush was not able to connect effectively with voters, even though those who knew him personally said Bush was a kind, gentle person.
  • [10:46.43]
  • One of his last acts as president was to write a note for the candidate who had beat him, wishing him well.
  • [10:55.60]
  • Legacy
  • [11:10.93]
  • George H.W. Bush retired to his home in Texas with his wife, Barbara.
  • [11:17.71]
  • They also have a house in Maine.
  • [11:20.13]
  • Bush often urged Americans to help others in their community.
  • [11:25.42]
  • He put his words into action by volunteering with his church and supporting a local hospital.
  • [11:33.29]
  • On his 90th birthday, Bush did something unusual to test his image as a cautious person. He celebrated by going sky diving.
  • [11:45.84]
  • For many, Bush is remembered for his connection to other presidents.
  • [11:51.58]
  • He is often linked to the Reagan years.
  • [11:55.39]
  • Compared to Reagan, Bush is usually considered a less conservative leader, as well as a less charismatic one.
  • [12:05.30]
  • By the 21st century, historians began comparing the former president Bush with another president: his son, George Walker Bush,
  • [12:16.12]
  • who took office eight years after his father left it.
  • [12:28.06]
  • I’m Kelly Jean Kelly.
  • 如您有建议或意见点击这里给我们留言