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Don’t allow the media to sanitize the legacy of Bush II

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Jaisal Noor: Former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush have taken the unprecedented step of rebuking Donald Trump. George W. Bush: “We’ve seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. At times, it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. Argument turns too easily into animosity. Disagreement escalates into dehumanization,” Jaisal Noor: Traditionally, former U.S. presidents do not disparage current U.S. presidents, and Bush did not use Donald Trump’s name during his speech. George W. Bush: In recent decades, public confidence in our institutions has declined. Our governing class has often been paralyzed in the face of obvious and pressing needs. The American dream of upward mobility seems out of reach for some who feel left behind. In a changing economy, discontent deepened and sharpened partisan conflicts. Jaisal Noor: The criticism from Bush and Obama won praise across the spectrum. Democrats even went out of their way to laud Bush as a resistance hero. But this overlooks not just the hypocrisy from both former presidents, but also actions and policies that fueled Trump’s rise. Bush presided over the Great Recession. His rollback of regulations and financial oversight lead to the financial meltdown, and burst of the housing bubble. 10 million lost their homes and millions lost their jobs. Bush bailed out banks to the tune of half a trillion dollars while homeowners were left out in the cold. George W. Bush: Bigotry or white supremacy, in any form, is blasphemy against the American creed. Jaisal Noor: Bush rounded up hundreds of non-citizen Muslim, Arab, and South Asian men after 9/11 and held them in harsh confinement. His lax response to Hurricane Katrina had its worst impact on New Orleans’ black majority. Bush and fellow Republicans did little to counter the racist Birther theory about Barak Obama that Donald Trump used to vault onto the national stage. Donald Trump: I want to show him to show that birth certificate. Oprah Winfrey: Why? Donald Trump There’s something on that birth certificate he doesn’t like. George W. Bush: Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication. Jaisal Noor: But many noted Bush himself used lies and a major conspiracy theory — that Iraq was behind 9/11 — to launch an illegal war that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, thousands of American service members, plunged Iraq into chaos and fueled the rise of ISIS. Bush’s administration was never held accountable for this war crime. Upon taking office, Obama ruled out the prosecution of Bush-era officials for torture and any other crimes. For much more on the Obama and Bush legacies go to This is Jaisal Noor.

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