President George W. Bush speechified at the George W. Bush Institute today, and unbosomed the usual eyewash about bigotry and nativism and nationalism, all the things, generally, that would enrage the Clan Bush.
“Bigotry seems emboldened. … We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism. … Bigotry and white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed . … the very identity of our nation depends on passing along civic ideals. .... Bullying and prejudice in our public life … provides permission for cruelty and bigotry. … The only way to pass along civic values is to live up to them.”[ George W. Bush’s unmistakable takedown of Trumpism — and Trump ,by Aaron Blake, Washington Post, October 19, 2017]
What’s that? “Identity of our nation?” “Passing along civic values?” According to the people for whom this speech was made, this country has no “identity” and no “civic values” because it’s “universal” and must accept anyone, no matter what they believe. For a nation to have an “identity” and “civic value to pass along,” it must have a defining ethnicity, culture and religion that create the values Mr. Bush wants to see passed.
Unhappily, the people to whom he is appealing don’t agree.
Before posting his story, The Washington Post's Aaron Blake tweeted this line:
Great line from Bush speech today:
"Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions"
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) October 19, 201
Bush has said it before—he used the same line, word for word, at the Memorial Service for the white cops who were shot by a Black Lives Matter supporter in Dallas. [Read George W. Bush's Speech at the Dallas Shooting Memorial Service, by Julissa Higgins, Time, July 12, 2016]
And if I paid any attention to Bush, which I don't, I would have said the same thing to it then as I say now.
Yes, Mr. President, and other groups judge us by our worst examples, while judging themselves by their best intentions.
Let's offer a list: blacks, Latinos, feminists, homosexuals, Muslims.
The difference, of course, is that their “best intentions”—wanting to destroy the historic American nation and its identity and civic values, the very things Mr. Bush claims he wants to preserve—are rather different than ours. And we regret and repudiate our worst examples, they don’t.