Memories of the decency and diplomacy of late President George H.W. Bush contrast sharply with President Donald Trump’s bluster.

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The death of America’s 41st president has inspired a flood of commentary making comparisons between George H.W. Bush and President Donald Trump — and the country’s 45th president is getting the worst of it.

Most noted is the contrast in personal style. Bush is being remembered as a gracious, self-effacing, dignified gentleman. Trump shares none of those attributes.

Bush’s greatest accomplishment may be the way he brought the Cold War to a peaceful end by avoiding triumphalism and supporting Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s tricky maneuvering to reform his own country and set free satellite nations in Eastern Europe. It is hard to imagine Trump summoning that kind of diplomatic skill and subtlety and impossible to think he would not have gloated over the demise of the U.S.S.R. It’s just not who he is.

Perhaps, as he listened to eulogies for Bush in Washington National Cathedral, Trump took to heart his predecessor’s example of leadership and will surprise us all by exhibiting more dignity in the future. But it is easier to believe Trump just sat there impatiently waiting to get back to sending his next obnoxious tweet.

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