I was never a fan of George W. Bush when he was our U.S. President. In fact, I was very angry with him at the time. Time changes things.
Five or so years ago, I saw him and President Clinton speak together at a forum about education. Bush was not only likable but funny and quick witted.
“Our identity as a nation, unlike other nations, is not determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or blood. … This means that people from every race, religion, ethnicity can be full and equally American,” he said during remarks at the George W. Bush Institute in New York City. “It means that bigotry and white supremacy, in any form, is blasphemy against the American creed.”
“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.”
“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,” he said.
He never mentioned the current President by name. But it was there, between every line.
Way to go, Mr. Bush. Way to go!
To see the speech, click here.