NEW YORK CITY – You may have seen mainstream media coverage of former President George W. Bush’s speech at the “Spirit of Liberty: At Home, In The World” event held Thursday in New York City, and, if you did, you likely came away with the impression that Bush unleashed a tirade against President Donald Trump.
‘In stunning attack, George W. Bush rebukes Trump, suggesting he promotes falsehoods and prejudice,’ read the headline from Los Angeles Times.
‘George W. Bush comes out of retirement to deliver a veiled rebuke of Trump,‘ declared the Washington Post.
‘Without Saying ‘Trump,’ Bush and Obama Deliver Implicit Rebukes,’ claimed the New York Times
Even Breitbart similarly couched George W’s speech in anti-Trump terms, with the headline, ‘George W. Bush Emerges to Bash Trump, ‘Nativism’: ‘We Cannot Wish Globalism Away’’
Relying on such headlines and second hand accounts of Bush’s speech would, understandably, lead one to conclude that yet another Establishment Republican has come out against Trump’s unconventional push to affect solutions oriented change in Washington.
The problem is, the speech Bush actually delivered was not a rebuke of Trump and the fed up voters that put him in office to repeal Obamacare, lower taxes, shrink wasteful government regulations and bureaucracy, and unashamedly stand up for America on the world stage. Instead, his speech was a reproach of the myriad enemies of freedom and liberty, and as such an eloquent defense of the uniquely American values held by most Trump supporters.
The leftist media was all too happy to spin Bush’s words as a direct assault on Trump because they will do anything in an effort to discredit a blunt-speaking president that dares to push back against their false narratives and bunk policy preferences.
Bush, albeit in a much different style, similarly pushed back against the tendencies and policies of collectivism that are far more embraced by Democrats than by President Donald Trump, or the millions that support him.
Consider, for instance, these excerpts from the transcript of Bush’s Thursday speech and weigh whether it is ‘Trump bashing’ or simply a sharp criticism of the very ideals, and where they lead, put forth by leftists at home and abroad.
“…for years, challenges have been gathering to the principles we hold dear. And, we must take them seriously. Some of these problems are external and obvious. Here in New York City, you know the threat of terrorism all too well. It is being fought even now on distant frontiers and in the hidden world of intelligence and surveillance. There is the frightening, evolving threat of nuclear proliferation and outlaw regimes. And there is an aggressive challenge by Russia and China to the norms and rules of the global order – proposed revisions that always seem to involve less respect for the rights of free nations and less freedom for the individual.”
I seem to recall a certain presidential candidate, now a resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, as being relentless in his warning of bullying expansion by China and standing up to backers of despotic regimes Iran and North Korea like Russia.
“America is not immune from these trends. In recent decades, public confidence in our institutions has declined. Our governing class has often been paralyzed in the face of obvious and pressing needs. The American dream of upward mobility seems out of reach for some who feel left behind in a changing economy. Discontent deepened and sharpened partisan conflicts. Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.”
Discontent with a bloated bureaucracy? A ‘do-nothing-well’ swamp in D.C.? An economically frustrated Middle Class; crazed partisans that turn violent when subject to free speech; race-based political fanaticism; and ‘Fake News’?
Who has been leading the charge against such things, if not Trump?
“There are some signs that the intensity of support for democracy itself has waned, especially among the young, who never experienced the galvanizing moral clarity of the Cold War, or never focused on the ruin of entire nations by socialist central planning. Some have called this “democratic deconsolidation.” Really, it seems to be a combination of weariness, frayed tempers, and forgetfulness.”
What Bush just described there is the leftists’ influence on Millenials and younger generations from there decades long endeavor at indoctrinating them with support of progressive Democrat fundamentals.
“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, instability, and poverty follow in the wake of protectionism.
We have seen 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. Americans have a great advantage: To renew our country, we only need to remember our values.”
Contrary to what the left would have you believe, Trump and his supporters are not bigoted jingoists that oppose people on account of skin color or ethnicity, but instead for law and order and being proud Americans. Trump voters are not opposed to free trade and free markets, rather they are opposed to unfair trade deals that restrict American business and workforces to the benefit of other less-than-friendly nations like communist China.
“We should not be blind to the economic and social dislocations caused by globalization. People are hurting. They are angry. And, they are frustrated. We must hear them and help them. But we can’t wish globalization away, any more than we could wish away the agricultural revolution or the industrial revolution. One strength of free societies is their ability to adapt to economic and social disruptions.
And that should be our goal: to prepare American workers for new opportunities, to care in practical, empowering ways for those who may feel left behind. The first step should be to enact policies that encourage robust economic growth by unlocking the potential of the private sector, and for unleashing the creativity and compassion of this country.”
These are the very issues Trump speaks to when he criticizes bad trade deals, in favor of better trade deals; when he encourages American corporations to invest in workforce training and investment at home; when he pushes for regulatory reform and “massive” tax cuts to unleash the American economic machine.
“Right now, one of our worst national problems is a deficit of confidence. But the cause of freedom justifies all our faith and effort. It still inspires men and women in the darkest corners of the world, and it will inspire a rising generation. The American spirit does not say, “We shall manage,” or “We shall make the best of it.” It says, “We shall overcome.””
Likewise, the American Spirit said in November of 2016, and still louder today, ‘We shall Make America Great Again.’
It is possible to confuse a very real and sinister resistance of Trump and the change he represents by entrenched interests in the Swamp of Washington D.C., with those voices issuing an earnest defense of liberty only because the Left has been successful in pushing a false dichotomy that Trump and liberty are mutually exclusive.
They most certainly are not. The principles expressed by Bush and the stated goals of President Trump are cut from the same cloth. Don’t let those who peddle lies and failed philosophies convince you otherwise.