It seems like the former presidents of the United States are growing concerned about the country’s current leader. After former Republican president George W. Bush called out the current president’s policies yesterday (without mentioning Trump’s name), former president Barack Obama has now done the same. As the Guardian reports, speaking at a rally in Virginia for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam, Obama told the crowd:
“Instead of our politics reflecting our values, we’ve got politics infecting our communities. Instead of looking for ways to work together to get things done in a practical way, we’ve got folks who are deliberately trying to make folks angry, to demonize people who have different ideas, to get the base all riled up because it provides a short- term tactical advantage.
“The question now, at a time when our politics seem so divided and so angry and so nasty, is whether we can recapture that spirit, whether we support and embrace somebody who wants to bring people together. Yes, we can.
. . . .
“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. We shouldn’t use the most painful parts of our history just to score political points. We saw what happened in Charlottesville, but we also saw what happened after Charlottesville when the biggest gatherings of all rejected fear and rejected hate and the decency and goodwill of the American people came out. That’s how we rise. We don’t rise up by repeating the past. We rise up by learning from the past and listening to each other.
“We can acknowledge that Thomas Jefferson, one of Virginia’s most famous sons, owned and sold slaves–that’s not disputable. And we can also acknowledge that he also wrote those words: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ And we can recognize that even if our past is not perfect we can honor the constitutional ideals that have allowed us to come this far and to keep moving toward a more perfect union. That’s what America is. That’s who we are.
“What we can’t have is the same old politics of division that we have seen so many times before that dates back centuries. Some of the politics we see now, we thought we put that to bed. That has folks looking 50 years back. It’s the 21st century, not the 19th century. Come on!”
Now we’re just waiting for George H. W., Bill, and Jimmy to speak up.