It’s interesting to watch the coming-back-out parties – on the same day, October 19th – that former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush held for themselves, warning us all about the dire state of affairs in America, saying in different locations that we’re being torn apart by hatreds and bigotries, and calling for the country to get its act together and set a better moral example for the rest of the world.
Though not mentioning any names, both former Presidents and certain news organizations covering the events, stated that the main reason we are in such dire moral straits is because of a certain person with blond, fluffed hair with a bad habit of stupid midnight tweeting, who is inhabiting the residence that both Barack and George had to give up for new life outside the spotlight.
Not much had been heard from George in eight years. He decided to have his coming out at an event entitled “Spirit of Liberty: At Home, In the World,” at a New York Hotel sponsored by the George W. Bush Institute – yes, there is such a thing – demonstrating he has been doing more than just hunting armadillos at his Crawford, Texas, ranch, playing golf at Dallas country clubs, and writing soon-forgotten memoirs. He said he decided to speak up now because he felt America was in moral trouble, due in large measure to our current blond haired leader and his divisive tweets, and we needed to “recover our own identity” in the face of these challenges to our basic ideals.
That wasn’t all. George denounced nationalism and bigotry, again without mentioning Trump by name, and bemoaned the “casual cruelty” of current public discourse. With Trump having been firmly branded a racist by CNN commentators and others in the media, George declared from his new moral perch, “Bigotry or white supremacy is blasphemy against the American creed.”\
On a roll, he went on to say, reading choppily from a script, “we’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism” – a word George likely never used before in his life, not even at Yale or Harvard – “forgetting the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America.”
The former Leader of the Free World went on to say that “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’ve seen the return of isolationist sentiments, forgetting that American security is directly threatened by the chaos and despair of distant places.” This is apparently a new, reflective George Bush.
As Americans living in a nano-speed world, especially Millennials, it’s easy to forget that this is the same George W. Bush, who as Commander in Chief , gave the order in 2003 to launch the war in Iraq, with its unimaginable devastation and loss of American Treasure – 6,500 dead so far and close to one million American soldiers wounded in some fashion– not to mention the rippling destruction that went through the Middle East that the war started, the emergence of ISIS due to American stupidity and arrogance, with ISIS death squads that have sent a million or more terrified Syrians into the desert and all over Europe.
It wasn’t that long ago, on Sept. 11, 2001 to be exact, that we heard George’s knee jerk reaction to his plane being grounded after the World Trade Center attacks – he was reading a nursery rhyme at the time to some kindergarteners in Florida – that, “No tinhorn (taking the towers down) is going to keep me from getting on a plane,” then proceeding two years later to unleash his twin Darth Vaders – Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld – against Saddam Hussein and Iraq, not so much to get Osama Bin Laden but because Saddam earlier had threatened to kill his father, President No. 41. How quick we forget. Now it seems George has become a kinder, gentler Texas Ranger, looking for forgiveness and redemption maybe, by saying that current American nationalism and nativism – read Trump – will lead to our own poverty of spirit as a nation.
And then – on the same day in a wondrous coincidence – was ex-President Barack, after nine months and a $60 million book deal behind him, looking fit and more than ready to jump back into the political ring again as he stumped for Democratic candidates in New Jersey and Virginia, though the real reason, as told to us by CNN and the New York Times, among others, was to “rebuke” Trump. Barack praised each candidate, then launched into his real reason for being there, with fiery words off the teleprompter, in preacher-like cadence, reminding everyone of the social, economic and racial schisms tearing apart American society all – as CNN and the NYTimes connected the dots – leading to the person behind his old desk in the Oval Office.
Then, to the chants of “Four More Years” from the Newark, New Jersey audience, he launched into a script they all heard eight years ago.
“We are rejecting a politics of division. We are rejecting a politics of fear,” Obama read from the teleprompter in New Jersey. “We are embracing a politics that says everybody counts, a politics that says everybody deserves a chance, a politics that says everybody has dignity and worth – a politics of hope.”
Ah, there’s that word again – Hope – stirring the souls of his raptured listeners. He was able to subtlety work it into the white supremacists theme, too, with the mostly black audience, so they could stir up their own anger and resentment toward the white guy with the blond hair in Washington.
“Some of the politics we see now we thought we’d put to bed.” he preached. ” I mean, that’s folks looking back 50 years” – (do you mean the sometime violent Civil Rights decade?) – “It’s the 21st Century, not the 19th Century.” – (do you mean back when there was slavery?). Yes, but we’re not forgetting you, we know how angry you are, without politics of dignity or worth, but come join with us, we may not improve your lives, but will give you something better….HOPE!
Just remember the next time you hear Barack use the word Hope, while trashing Trump, that here was a guy in eight years who brought us socialized medicine that continues to crush the middle class as it gets more people on taxpayer subsidized government entitlement insurance that us working stiffs have to pay for; job creation that was mostly low-wage, part time work that people can hardly live on, let alone buy mandatory health insurance; eight years that were charged with race fear, from white cops being the cause of all the black violence, which they weren’t, to bringing terrified refuges from Central America and war-torn Middle East countries, settling them into communities without consent, and putting them into welfare programs, stretching social services beyond limits; leaving the U.S. $20 trillion in debt and in an even more over-regulated society; and ordering public schools to install new transgender bathrooms, leaving parents the task of explaining to their children what a transgender is; , while we were all amped up on anxiety in an ever regulated, mass market world, not knowing what disaster or mass murder the latest flags at half-mass were lowered for. Now, it seems, we’re getting more Hope on the way.
Trump may be demeaning the office with his tweets, but he was elected fair and square in a democratic process by people who were nauseated by the leadership of the previous 16 years, with no relief for their stress-filled, over-taxed, over regulated lives. The Russians didn’t pull the levers, despite what CNN says. You’re retired Presidents, Barack and George, with not that great of legacies yourself, despite what your close advisors say. Don’t demean yourselves by pretending to a moral leadership that’s not there. People can see through it in a second.
Go play some golf together.