"Bigotry seems emboldened, our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication," former President George W. Bush said while delivering a speech about the state of American politics Thursday at the Bush Institute.
"We've seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty ... argument turns too easily into animosity," he added. "Disagreement escalates into dehumanization. Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions."
#bush #georgewbush #politics #17thsoulja
Bush didn't mention #Trump
during his remarks, but in his recommendations to strengthen American democracy, he said US institutions must "step up" and "we need to recall and recover our own identity."
He brought up growing concerns over misinformation, saying politics seems "more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication."
The 43rd president also addressed Russian influence on the United States.
"The Russian government has made a project of turning Americans against each other," he said, adding that while Russian interference will not be successful, "foreign aggressions, including cyberattacks, disinformation and financial influence, should never be downplayed or tolerated."
Bush, who left the presidential section of his ballot blank instead of voting for Trump, said the United States has seen "nationalism distort into nativism," later adding that "we cannot wish globalization away."
The former president also addressed concerns over bulling among American leaders.
"Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone, provides permission for cruelty and bigotry, and compromises the moral education of children, the only way to pass along civic values is to first live up to them," he said