‘I don’t like the racism and name-calling’

Mr. President, many millions of other Americans don’t like any of it either.

George W. Bush is speaking out more forcefully about one of the men who has succeeded him as president of the United States.

Will the object of President Bush’s critique, Donald John Trump, listen to what No. 43 has to say? I rather doubt it.

Still, the message needs to be delivered. And the former president is doing so in a measured, but unambiguous manner.

Bush spoke with People magazine about his post-presidential hobby, painting, and also about Trump and the new president’s rocky first month in office.

Despite his critique of Trump, Bush remains an optimist. According to People: Bush called the political climate in Trump’s Washington “pretty ugly” (“I’m not going back nowhere!” he added for emphasis), but said he isn’t feeling anxious about the direction of the country. “Not really. I’m optimistic about where we’ll end up. … We’ve been through these periods before and we’ve always had a way to come out of it. I’m more optimistic than some.”

The ex-president was adamant about refraining from criticizing his immediate successor, Barack Obama. Not so, apparently, with Obama’s immediate successor.

I want to share in President Bush’s optimism. Sadly, I cannot.

However, I do share Bush’s view of what he’s heard coming from the nation’s capital in this still-new Trump era: “I don’t like the racism and I don’t like the name-calling and I don’t like the people feeling alienated,”

If only Donald Trump would listen. If only …

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