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Former President and Aspiring Painter George W. Bush is receiving all sorts of hosannas for a speech he gave Thursday in New York.

In the speech, Bush seemed to call out the nativism and bigotry that has infested national politics and to call for the country to remember its foundational principles of equality, freedom, and support for human rights. Among some of the more noteworthy quotes:

  • “We've seen nationalism distorted into nativism.”
  • “Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.”
  • “It means that bigotry and white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed, and it means the very identity of our nation depends on passing along civic ideals.”

You know who could really follow this advice? George W. Bush, who just this past Monday was in Virginia stumping for gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie.

Why is that important? Because Gillespie has gone full Trumpist in his campaign, running scare ads against his Democratic opponent, Ralph Northam, that traffic in nativism and xenophobia.

Here, for example, is one slamming Northam for favoring sanctuary cities. Virginia does not have any sanctuary cities:

And here is one where he scaremongers about the Central American street gang MS-13, a particular bête noire of Trump:

Gillespie is running these sorts of ads because he almost lost the primary to Corey Stewart, a neo-Confederate whose big issue was opposition to Confederate memorials being torn down. Now, Gillespie has to pander to Stewart's white nationalist voters if he wants to win. The same voters who enthusiastically support Trump.

Let's all remember that before we give George W. Bush a hearty round of applause.

Watch Bush's full speech below.

Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.

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