The Arizona senator John McCain sees president Trump’s ethno-nationalist appeals and the First Foreign policy as false nationalism-as he so clearly stated it on Tuesday delivering his speech.
The former president George W. Bush, speaking at the George W. Bush Institute on Thursday reaffirmed the senator point of view.
“At times it could seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together,” the former president said. “Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples, while judging ourselves by our best intentions, forgetting the image of God we should see in each other. We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism, forgotten the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America. We see a fading confidence in the value of free markets and international trade, forgetting that conflict, poverty and instability follow in the wake of protectionism. We see 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.”
Because these comments are clear critical remark on Trump, they will be regarded with much attention and praise. Should they serve to exonerate the 43rd president? Exactly like McCain, Bush needs to reflect on how his own politics laid the groundwork for Trump’s presidency. In spite of everything Bush was the president who exempt himself out of the Kyoto Protocol and other international agreements while relegating the United Nations in the rush to war with Iraq. He was the proud intellectual who disdained government, thus laying groundwork for Trump. As bad as Trump is, Bush actually did far more damage, not the least by helping make Trump himself possible.