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End distorted nativism, populist rhetoric, says Bush to Trump

ANI | Updated: Oct 20, 2017 12:01 IST

New York [United States], Oct.20 (ANI): Former United States president George W. Bush has indirectly called on incumbent White House occupant Donald Trump to end the politics of hate and populist rhetoric, and work towards getting the American economy back on track.

Speaking at a conference in New York, Bush, the last Republican to hold the office of President, said America has to first "recover"its own identity in the face of challenges to its most basic ideals.

Defending immigration and free trade, and denouncing the curent brand of nationalism and bigotry being bandied about, Bush described it as the "casual cruelty" of current public discourse.

"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've seen the return of isolationist sentiments, forgetting that American security is directly threatened by the chaos and despair of distant places," Bush said.

Bush and another former president Barack Obama have largely avoided taking on Trump since he assumed office on January 20 this year.

They have, however, made occasional statements or comments in interviews.

But according to the New York Times, their appearance on the public stage on the same day (October 19), reinforces the broader alarm among establishment leaders of both the Republican and Democratic parties.

Bush also released a "call to action" report examining threats to the liberal democratic order and making recommendations for protecting American institutions.

The paper was drafted by Peter H. Wehner, a former adviser in his White House, and Thomas O. Melia, a former State Department official under Mr. Obama.

He said, "We know that when we lose sight of our ideals, it is not democracy that has failed; it the failure of those charged with preserving and protecting democracy."

He also acknowledged public discontent.

"We should not be blind to the economic and social dislocations caused by globalisation. People are hurting. They're angry and they're frustrated. We must hear and help them. But we cannot wish globalization away any more than we could wish away the agricultural revolution or the industrial revolution," he said.

"Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone, provides permission for cruelty and bigotry and compromises the moral education of children," he added. (ANI)