Last week, former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush came back into the public eye to warn Americans about the shortcomings of nationalism and the adverse effects it has on democracy as we know it.
The media and general public interpreted this as a direct reprimand of President Trump and his willingness to further separate the United States and destabilize international politics. But, what makes this truly remarkable is the fact that Obama and Bush come from opposing parties, but still echoed similar sentiments.
President Trump continues to push his isolationist agenda in the form of anti-immigration rhetoric and abolishing long-standing trade deals. Bush opted out of mentioning Trump’s name, but did not shy away from criticizing nationalism and supporting immigration as well as free trade.
“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,” Bush said. “We’ve seen the return of isolationist sentiments, forgetting that American security is directly threatened by the chaos and despair of distant places.”
In a separate event in Virginia, Obama delivered his first public speech since leaving the White House in January.
“If we’re going to talk about our history then we should do it in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds, not in a way that divides,” Obama said. “We shouldn’t use the most painful parts of our history just to score political points.”
He later defended Obamacare and called for voters to turn out for the gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey on November 7.
Senator John McCain joined in on the critiquing of Trump in his speech at the 2017 Liberty Medal Ceremony.
“To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain ‘the last best hope of Earth’ for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history,” McCain said.
Whether it be two former presidents and a senator calling him out on his poor and divisive leadership, Senator Bob Corker calling his White House an adult day care center, or Eminem lambasting him in a freestyle on television, we can all agree that October has been a rough month for Trump.