Former President George W. Bush’s speech earlier this week garnered its share of praise and criticism. Many believe that his remarks were a thinly-veiled attack on President Donald Trump.
In an interview on The Howie Carr Show, former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly commented on the potential reasons President Bush made his comments, stating, “The establishment basically thinks that Donald Trump is a vulgarian — and they do,” he said. “They don’t like the way he is conducting himself with the tweets and how he goes out and he stirs up people,” O’Reilly added. “I think there is a club — and the club says this is the way you behave in the White House. “Trump isn’t doing that. That’s why, I think, W went after him.”
He states that the former president’s speech represents a serious rift in the Republican Party. “There’s no more Republican unity,” he said. “That’s gone.”
O’Reilly also noted while the Democrats are still unified, there is tension between the establishment wing of the GOP and the more populist-learning faction. The former host stated that there is a club that “says this is the way you behave in the White House.”
The media personality also acknowledged that President Trump has alienated many in the establishment. “But Trump has alienated most establishment people. He has,” O’ Reilly said.
It seems that both the Left and the Right saw what they wanted to see in President Bush’s speech: an attack on President Trump. It seems easy to assume that certain parts of Bush’s speech were a direct criticism against the current president.
However, much of what Bush said could also be applied to the Left — who viciously attacked him while he was in office. “Bigotry seems emboldened,” he said. “Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.”
It is understandable to assume that the bigotry Bush speaks of is an example of the type of attack the Left uses against President Trump. It’s possible, but Bush would also know that bigotry against Christians also exists — we have seen the Left go after Christian businesses who refuse to support same-sex weddings.
People on both the left and the right are promoting these types of arguments, and it is this phenomenon that Bush was likely referring to.
Bush also said, “We have seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. At times, it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. Argument turns too easily into animosity. Disagreement escalates into dehumanization. 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.”
Again, if one is looking solely for pro-Trump or anti-Trump sentiments in this speech, they might conclude that this is another statement about the bigotry of Trump and his supporters. But when you look at it objectively, these statements clearly apply to the Left. After all, it was they who attempted to portray Bush as a racist, sexist buffoon.
It is possible that President Bush was not addressing his remarks only to President Trump. While Bush has criticized him in the past, he has also spoken out against the tactics the Left use to further their political agenda. In the end, his message was for all Americans, not just those who support President Trump.