How many US presidents do you remember?
Speech by the former US President : George W. Bush sharply criticizes Donald Trump's policies
George W. Bush was silent for a long time, he was very reluctant to make public statements. That changed in one fell swoop on Thursday (local time). Bush criticized the current grievances in the United States with unusually harsh criticism. He turned against isolationism, nationalism and lies. He never mentioned President Donald Trump by name once, but the incumbent was the clear addressee of his haunting speech - and with him his ideas, his worldview, his statements and his politics.
Father and son Bush were just as reserved about the candidate Trump as they were about the current president. It is rare for former US presidents to express their views on the day-to-day politics of their country at all. Bush's speech, which he gave at his institute, is all the more remarkable. “Blind zeal seems to be on the rise. Our politics are more susceptible than ever to conspiracy theories and downright fairy tales, ”said Bush.
George W. Bush warns against white nationalism
"Unlike other nations, our identity is not determined by geography, ethnicity, blood or soil," said Bush, referring to the incumbent president, who is pushing for the US to isolate itself. "That means people of any race, religion, or affiliation can become equal Americans." Bush added, "That means that blind zeal and white nationalism in any form are a disgrace to America's creed."
The 71-year-old called on the US to support democracy worldwide and to resist the temptation to withdraw. Isolationist sentiments failed to recognize that America's security was threatened directly by the chaos and despair of distant places. "We have to remember our own identity and regain it," demanded Bush. Americans have a great advantage, said the 43rd President with a smile: "To renew our country, we just have to remember our values."
The speech caused a sensation in the USA. While many commentators praised Bush for his frank words, there was also sharp criticism: In Bush's wars against Afghanistan and Iraq, the supposedly high values of the USA were as little off as the immense strengthening of the secret services during his tenure, it said in social networks. Another user wrote on the Internet: “It has come to this point under Trump that I now have to find what George W. is saying. Incredible."
Nationalism has twisted into nativism, Bush said
Bush said the last time nationalism was seen twisted into nativism. In a nutshell, this term means the political struggle of those born in a country against immigrants. "We forget the dynamic that immigration has always brought to America," Bush said. "We see dwindling trust in the value of free markets and international trade - while forgetting that conflicts, instability and poverty follow protectionism on the foot." Bush called for greater cohesion in the increasingly fragmented society in the USA. He urged himself to stand up for civil rights. The public discourse is of "casual cruelty," said Bush.
The "New York Times" quoted a reporter who asked Bush after his speech whether his speech would be heard in the White House - Bush nodded quietly and said: "I think it will." As Trump shortly afterwards in the White House House was asked if he had heard the speech, he said no.
The Republican Bush was US President from 2001 to 2009. His term of office includes campaigns against Afghanistan and Iraq, the so-called war on terrorism, a serious curtailment of civil rights in the "Patriot Act" after September 11, 2001 and the establishment of the Guantánamo Bay prison camp in Cuba.
Barack Obama warns against a policy of division
Trump's predecessor Barack Obama also called on voters during an election campaign in New Jersey to defend themselves against the "policy of division". "You will send a message to the country and the world that we reject politics of division and politics of fear, that we embrace politics in which everyone counts," said the Democrat.
Two gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia, as well as a by-election for a Senate seat in Alabama later this year, could provide an outlook on next year's general election, in which all 435 House seats and 33 Senate seats are up for voting. Republicans currently hold a majority in both houses.
(dpa / Reuters)
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