Without mentioning President Trump by name, former President George W. Bush delivered a viral speech denouncing the current state of American politics and lamenting that “bigotry” now seems “emboldened.”
Speaking at the Bush Institute’s “Spirit of Liberty” forum in New York on Thursday, the 43rd president told the crowd, “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,” Bush added, per Business Insider. “Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.”
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The former president also took aim at white supremacy in the speech, saying that “people of every race, religion, and ethnicity can be fully and equally American” and that “bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed.”
The speech quickly went viral on Thursday, with many political commentators and Twitter users interpreting the remarks as a thinly veiled criticism of President Trump.
Wrote CNN political commentator Keith Boykin, “George W. Bush just slammed bigotry, white supremacy, Russian election interference and conspiracy theories. In other words, Donald Trump.”