Was former President Bush the right man to speak on nationalism?

Screen shot from NBC News' YouTube video: Former President George W. Bush Says Public Discourse In US 'Degraded By Casual Cruelty' | NBC News
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Thursday, former President George W. Bush gave a speech in New York that many feel, without mentioning him by name, was a direct attack on President Trump. President Trump rode a nationalist movement to the presidency and President Bush warned against that movement today.

President Bush in one of his most powerful moments today said, “We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism, [and] forgotten the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America.” President Bush, when he left office, was far from the most popular man and has stayed largely out of the spotlight. For him to step forward now and challenge the very life blood of the Trump movement is stunning. Given his standing when he left office and the tradition of presidents not attacking their successors, should President Bush be the one to speak out against nationalism?

Those who feel President Bush was right to speak out about nationalism see the Trump movement as a cancer that is killing freedom in this country. President Bush swore an oath to protect the constitution and with his warning against nationalism he is doing that. Also, as a private citizen he has every right to speak his mind even if he is a fairly unpopular former president. Finally, as the last Republican president before President Trump he just might be the perfect choice to stand up to what many people see as a dangerous movement that is built on anger, fear, and hate; a movement that is consuming the Republican Party.

Those who feel it was wrong for President Bush to attack nationalism see Bush as a hypocrite. For example, after 9/11 President Bush used nationalism as a tool for getting his agenda through congress. Plus, they view his words as an attack on President Trump, which is a break with the tradition of a former president not criticizing the sitting president. Finally, they see his words as a betrayal of the party and President Trump.

Former President Bush focused a giant spotlight on how politics in this country are changing. Many in this country see it changing for the better now that America is looking out for itself first and the rest of the world later. Those, like President Bush, see America pulling itself away from the leadership roll it has held since World War Two as a bad thing. Those in the future will decide who is right.

Here is an NBC News clip that presents part of President Bush’s speech today:

The Issue

Was former President Bush right to speak out against nationalism? Did he do his duty by trying to point out something dangerous growing with the nationalist movement, or did he try to undercut a sitting president who he and his family have had problems with in the past?

Yes, George W. Bush was right to speak out against nationalism

President Bush is an American citizen and has the right to say whatever he wants about nationalism.


No, George W. Bush was wrong to speak out against nationalism

President Bush was wrong to criticize a movement that is putting America back on the right track after several failed administrations including his own.

Was President George W. Bush right to speak on nationalism? We look forward to your opinions.

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