Two former presidents of the United States have spoken out about the state of contemporary politics.
Both men’s comments were thinly veiled broadsides fired at Donald John Trump, the guy who succeeded one of them. You would expect such criticism of a Republican president to come from Democratic former President Barack H. Obama, who today campaigned on behalf of fellow Democratic candidates.
It’s the criticism that came from a Republican ex-president, George W. Bush, that deserves a brief comment here.
President Bush has been mostly quiet since leaving the White House in January 2009. Today he broke his silence in dramatic fashion.
Speaking at a George W. Bush Institute event in New York, the former president said this, according to the Washington Post:
* “Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.”
* “We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism.”
* “We’ve seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. . . . Argument turns too easily into animosity.”
* “It means that bigotry and white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed, and it means the very identity of our nation depends on passing along civic ideals.”
* “Bullying and prejudice in our public life … provides permission for cruelty and bigotry.”
* “The only way to pass along civic values is to live up to them.”
Read the Post article here.
Can there be any question about whom the former president is referring? Can you possibly mistake the references to anyone other than Donald J. Trump?
President Bush spoke out forcefully during his time in the White House against bigotry and hatred. For example, he sought to declare that our war against international radical Islamic terrorists is not a war against Islam.
That is not the message we’re getting from the current president and the 43rd president of the United States is correct to bring these issues to our attention.
Welcome back to the political stage, Mr. President.