It’s been a while since the world has heard from former president George W. Bush. However, in a rare TV interview, he let loose, sharing his thoughts about the direction of the republican party. He brought up issues about misinformation and defined the Trump era as “isolationist, protectionist and, to a certain extent, nativist.”
It “Made Me Sick”
The topics introduced in the interview covered everything from his presidency to his thoughts about the current state of the republican party. Bush expressed his feelings about the Insurrection on January 6th, claiming it “made me sick.” He didn’t blame Trump for the incident but lightly tiptoed around the idea that his Twitter choices added fuel to the fire.
When asked about the future of the Republican party, Bush expressed thoughts of concern, claiming that the current party-splitting taking place is dangerous and will wind up leading the democrats to another victory come 2024. The radicalism and cult-like followers of the Trump clan are ruining the party, taking away from the traditional conservative values of republicanism.
Still, so much of these concerns and thoughts seem to have come at the perfect time, with Bush pushing his new book. Instead of standing out there on the frontline and taking measures to close gaps in the party, Bush was silent. Though he wasn’t out fighting against Trump, he was making connections with immigrants for his new book “Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants.” Bush has always taken a firmer stance on immigration, hoping to secure the border and enforce humane treatment of children that cross the border unaccompanied.
While immigration is reaching all new heights under the Biden administration, Bush couldn’t have chosen a better time to release his book. Though it’s a coincidence, Bush does make a good argument, standing up to defend and protect those coming to the United States illegally. He warned about name-calling and misinformation that most often accompanies political agendas when taking steps to secure the borders, expressing, “I hope that these faces, and the stories that accompany them, serve as a reminder that immigration isn’t just a part of our heritage.”
Reconstruction of the GOP
Those republicans that did take a stand faced scrutiny and shame, often the victim of harsh online battering and defamation. Still, Bush is not the only one that sunk in the shadows while Trump was in power. Former speaker of the House John Boehner didn’t say much, leading Joe Walsh to tweet, “…Like Boehner, you come out NOW and speak out against Trumpism? NOW? So many of us former Republicans lost everything publicly opposing Trump these past few years, yet you said & did nothing. And NOW you speak?” Many Republicans feel the failures of their efforts to put the pieces of their party back together, and their healing will take some time.
Biden’s administration is sure to be filled with more republicans just like Bush speaking out about their last reign. It’s going to take efforts to bring the party together again and change the image left by the previous candidate.