George W. Bush Didn't Name Names But Low-key Came For Trump In A Speech On Patriotism

Former president George W. Bush recently gave a speech at the Bush Institute’s Spirit of Liberty event in New York. While Bush didn’t call out President Trump directly —like Trump tends to do when talking about anyone he disagrees with— many of his statements seemed to be directed against the bigotry and prejudice of Trump.

And unlike Trump’s random and largely unnecessary tweets, Bush’s statements were clear and meaningful. As Politico reports, Bush’s speech follows Senator John McCain's similar call for rediscovering American democracy just three days ago.

"We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil," McCain said. Bush’s words echoed McCain’s: “Our identity as a nation, and unlike many other nations, is not determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or blood. Here are a few of our favorites:

In honor of liberty, Bush began by stating, “The health of the democratic spirit itself is at issue. And the renewal of that spirit is the urgent task at hand.”

“Free governments are the only way to ensure that the strong are just and the weak are valued,” he said. “When we lose sight of our ideals, it is not democracy that has failed. It is the failure of those charged with preserving and protecting democracy.” Basically, it’s all on Trump. If he fails, it’s not democracy that’s failed - it’s him.

We’re forgetting core American ideals, such as the American dream, replaced by decreased trust in our government and increased political polarization. In what seems to be a reference to Trump’s proliferation of rumors and downright false statements, Bush said: “Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.”

America first is not American. “We have 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. Americans have a great advantage: To renew our country, we only need to remember our values.” Our values include diversity, tolerance, and inclusivity. Making America great again means making America great for all people.

Bush also directly condemned white supremacy and the lack of positive role models in our political landscape today: “Our young people need positive role models. Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets 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.”

Ending on a positive note, Bush urges America to remember its core values. "The American spirit does not say, “We shall manage,” or “We shall make the best of it.” It says, 'We shall overcome.'"

Meanwhile many critics considered Bush's speech a "too-little, too-late" move after being less-than-vocal during the election. Others pointed out that many of Trump's more extreme policies and stances found their roots and gained momentum during the years of W. Bush's presidency. 

Yet, it is still a bit a relief for many to hear a politician condemn the extremes of Trump-era politics 

You can watch Bush’s full speech below: