George W. Bush came out of his quiet retirement as a former president to give a speech at the George W. Bush Institute Thursday.
The speech was sober and reflective on the state of the country and the world as it was and as it is now.
“We’ve seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty,” Bush said.
“At times it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. Argument turns easily into animosity. Disagreement escalates into dehumanization.”
“Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions, forgetting the image of God we should see in each other. We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism.”
“Forgotten the dynamism immigration has always brought to America. 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.
We’ve seen the return of isolationist sentiments, forgetting that American security is directly threatened by the chaos and despair of distant places where threats such as terrorism, infectious disease, criminal gangs and drug trafficking tend to emerge.”
He concludes by saying, “The American spirit does not say we shall manage or we shall make the best of it. It says, “We shall overcome.” And that’s what we’ll do, with God’s help.”
Watch the speech below: