It’s an unwritten rule that past Presidents of the United States don’t interfere in the affairs of a sitting POTUS or predecessor. However, media pundits believe that during a recent speech, George W. Bush ripped apart Donald Trump, and “Trumpism,” without mentioning him by name.
In what is being called a “remarkable rebuke” of one American president by another, George W. Bush attacks the divisive state of politics. On Thursday, the 43rd commander-in-chief gave a speech at George W. Bush Institute in New York. There, Bush opined on isolationism, protectionism, and nativism in the not-so-veiled takedown of Donald Trump.
Bush has largely remained on the sidelines since leaving the White House after two terms in office. The avid painter didn’t once openly criticize his successor, Barack Obama, nor did he endorse Donald Trump for president. And while his brother, former candidate for the Oval Office Jeb Bush, was highly critical of the real estate magnate, George Bush took a muted stance.
However, on Thursday, apparently, his passive political stance was no longer tenable, as evidenced by his stunning speech aimed at the management style and ideologies of Donald Trump, according to Raw Story. During his 16-minute oration, Bush laid out threats to the American electorate and values, while suggesting that leadership is anemic and greatly needed at a time when foreign adversaries are testing the country’s resolve.
The Washington Examiner echoed Raw Story‘s report along similar lines, saying, “Bush’s remarks could be read as a shot against President Trump.”
Bush also appeared to give legitimacy to Russian meddling in elections, whereas Trump has referred to allegations by the intelligence community and critics as “fake news.”
“In recent decades, public confidence in our institutions has declined, our governing class has often been paralyzed in the face of obvious and pressing needs, the American dream of upward mobility seems out of reach to some who feel left behind in a changing economy, discontent deepened and sharpened partisan conflicts, our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication, there are some signs that the intensity of support for democracy itself has waned — especially among the young.”
“We’ve seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. At times it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. The argument turns too easily into animosity, disagreement escalates into dehumanization,” Bush continued.
Bush then raised a number of issues against Donald Trump and his base and appeared to link them to the separatist ideology that is proliferating among the latter.
“We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism, forgotten the dynamism immigration has always brought to America, the fading value of trade, we’ve seen the return of isolationist sentiments forgetting that American security is directly threatened by the chaos and despair of distant places where threats such as terrorism, infectious disease, criminal gangs and drug trafficking tend to emerge. In all these ways, we need to recall and recover our own identity.”
Bush went on to say that “white supremacy,” in any form, amounts to “blasphemy.” He then challenged Americans to recall the high ideals espoused by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, specifically “civic responsibility.” He mentioned James Madison and his “values” put forth in the Constitution. Finally, he said that we channel the late Dr. Martin Luther King’s belief that we should judge a person for the “content of their character” and not by the “color of their skin.”
As CNN pointed out in a live broadcast, Bush’s comments about behavior and decorum appear to point squarely at Trump when he said some leaders are not using their platforms to behave like positive role models.
“Bullying and prejudice in our public life set a national tone, provides permission for cruelty and bigotry and compromises the moral education of children. The only way to pass along civic values is to first live up to them.”
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]