20 October 2017

The Enemy of My Enemy

I've written several times here in the past that when a conservative Republican speaks out about Donald Trump, we should stop and listen. When that critic is a former President, we really need to pay attention.

Yesterday, former President George W. Bush spoke in New York City, delivering a stinging rebuke to Trump without ever mentioning him by name (full text and video here).

"We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism, forgotten the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America," Bush said. "We see a fading confidence in the value of free markets and international trade -- forgetting that conflict, instability, and poverty follow in the wake of protectionism."

The former President specifically condemned white supremacy, which Trump has repeatedly failed to do. Bush also directly addressed Russian attempts to interfere in America's election and discourse, something Trump has tried to pretend is nothing more than a leftist conspiracy theory. On this point Bush said:

"America is experiencing the sustained attempt by a hostile power to feed and exploit our country’s divisions. According to our intelligence services, the Russian government has made a project of turning Americans against each other. This effort is broad, systematic and stealthy, it’s conducted across a range of social media platforms. Ultimately, this assault won’t succeed. But foreign aggressions -- including cyber-attacks, disinformation and financial influence -- should not be downplayed or tolerated. This is a clear case where the strength of our democracy begins at home."

I don't ever remember a former President delivering a scorching condemnation of a sitting President like this, let alone one from his own party.

Trump has not made any response, as of my writing this, but that could change. Will he deliver one as childish as his recent disgraceful reply to a similar speech by Senator John McCain?

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