Former president George W. Bush exhibited bizarre behavior at the Dallas Memorial held for the five fallen officers killed earlier this week and is now being mocked for it, the Guardian reports.
While the majority of the Dallas Memorial ceremony was dignified, as befitting of the gravity of the situation, including speeches from both the former president and the current president, Bush behaved in a manner that many are finding offensive.
To give Bush credit, his speech during the Dallas Memorial was beautiful, heartfelt, and sincere, as reported by US News.
“With their deaths, we have lost so much,” Bush said of the five slain officers for whom the ceremony was being held. “We are grief-stricken, heartbroken and forever grateful. Every officer has accepted a calling that sets them apart.”
“Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples, while judging ourselves by our best intentions.”
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) July 12, 2016
Bush spoke of their sacrifice — the type of sacrifice that very few of us can even image making.
“Most of us imagine if the moment called for, that we would risk our lives to protect a spouse or a child,” Bush said. “Those wearing the uniform assume that risk for the safety of strangers. They and their families share the unspoken knowledge that each new day can bring new dangers.”
And he spoke passionately about America’s ability to rise above the horrors of the day, to remain united, even in the face of ugliness for which the country was ill-prepared.
“But none of us were prepared, or could be prepared, for an ambush by hatred and malice. The shock of this evil still has not faded. At times, it seems like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. Argument turns too easily into animosity. Disagreement escalates too quickly into dehumanization.”
“Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples, while judging ourselves by our best intentions.”
“And this has strained our bonds of understanding and common purpose. But Americans, I think, have a great advantage. To renew our unity, we only need to remember our values.”
“We have never been held together by blood or background. We are bound by things of the spirit, by shared commitments to common ideals.”
“At our best, we practice empathy, imagining ourselves in the lives and circumstances of others. This is the bridge across our nation’s deepest divisions.”
At that point, Bush should have quit while he was ahead. He could have been remembered as the dignified, former president who spoke movingly, stirringly about the fallen officers who lost their lives during the sniper attack in Dallas.
But no. Bush, unfortunately, didn’t stop there. Instead, Bush decided to dance at the Dallas Memorial.
During a moving rendition of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, former President Bush clasped hands with First Lady Michelle Obama and began to dance, oddly, with a smile on his face, seemingly oblivious to just how strange his behavior appeared, considering the situation.
For her part, Michelle Obama appeared to be mortified and completely stunned at the behavior of Bush. Even his wife, Laura Bush, seemed embarrassed to be holding the hand of her husband and he actually danced on stage, grinning, while the music played in honor of the five fallen police officers.
Watch the video below.
Twitter, of course, reacted as only Twitter can — with a gamut of emotions, ranging from shock and horror, to cynicism and humor.
“I usually like Bush – but why in the world was he dancing and being goofy during last song? I was cringing,” read one tweet.
“George Bush dancing to ‘Glory Glory Hallelujah’ at the #DallasMemorial while smirking makes my heart hurt,” wrote another.
LAURA: George, be on your best behavior.
GEORGE: Of course I will!
LAURA: No dancing.
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) July 12, 2016
Certainly, this wasn’t the first time George W. Bush decided to display his dance moves, but it may have been one of the oddest moments he has chosen.
He would have been better off, perhaps, simply sticking to the script of his speech.
[Image by Pool/Getty Images]