It’s a strange day indeed when progressives find themselves in agreement with Former President George W. Bush. Today, in his first interview since Trump took the White House, Bush called for an investigation into Trump’s ties with Russia.
The former Republican president went on NBC’s “Today” and denounced many of Trump’s actions so far. From Trump’s media relations to his immigration policies and ties with Russia, Bush is no fan.
When discussing whether or not Trump should be under investigation for treason, Bush said, “We all need answers.” However, he isn’t sure whether a special prosecutor should be appointed to head up the investigation.
Bush said that he had “never been a lawyer,” and that “You’re talking to the wrong guy,” about those specifics.
When the conversation turned to immigration and Trump’s Muslim ban, Bush continued to disagree with the current Republican president. Bush, the man who was President during 9/11, doesn’t believe that travelers from Muslim-majority countries should face such strict scrutiny when they enter our country.
“I am for an immigration policy that’s welcoming and that upholds the law,” he said. We couldn’t agree more with Bush’s statement, which feels very strange to say.
Finally, the interview turned to Trump’s strained relationship with the media. Although all Presidents have difficulties with members of the press, Trump’s attacks against the freedom of the press threaten the very fabric of democracy.
Of course, Bush endured his own set of challenges with the press. However, he still believes that it is central to the foundation of our country and that Trump is dangerous in his attacks.
“I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy. We need the media to hold people like me to account,” he said. “Power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive, and it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power.”
Bush brought the conversation full circle by linking the need for a free press to Vladimir Putin of Russia. He said that during his terms, he pushed Putin toward embracing a free press, and warned that those efforts are undermined by Trump’s anti-press rhetoric.
“It’s kind of hard to tell others have a independent free press when we’re not willing to have one ourselves,” Bush said. At least one Republican understands.
Bush’s denouncement points to a deep split in the Republican party. We hope the former president’s comments will give Congressional Republicans and other leaders the courage to stand up against our tyrannical “leader.”
While we certainly have deep and important disagreements with Bush, it’s important to give credit where credit is due. Criticizing a President in one’s own party is difficult and brave.
We commend Bush in his denouncement of Trump’s racist, xenophobic, and anti-press rhetoric. It will take patriots of all kinds to topple these authoritarian hopefuls in the White House.
Welcome to the resistance, President Bush.
The next step is to let others know about this interview. Perhaps it will spur other Republicans to come forward against Trump.