Over the weekend, the George W. Bush Presidential Center released a video featuring the former POTUS calling on Americans to recognize that we are all in this battle together against COVID-19. He reminded everyone that we should be helping each other out during the global pandemic and put partisan politics aside, but the video had mixed reviews on Twitter.
The nearly-three minute video features Bush’s voice over various black-and-white images that mostly included people holding American flags. As the country faces skyrocketing unemployment, a shut-down economy, and a rising COVID-19 death count, Bush says that we should remember that the differences between people are small.
— George W. Bush Presidential Center (@TheBushCenter) May 2, 2020
“Let us remember how small our differences are in the face of this shared threat,” said Bush. “In the final analysis, we are not partisan combatants — we are human beings, equally vulnerable and equally wonderful in the sight of God. We rise or fall together and we are determined to rise.”
Bush said this is a challenging and solemn time in the life of our nation, as a “remorseless, invisible enemy threatens the eldery and vulnerable among us.” He added that we are all deeply grateful for the risks medical professionals have taken regarding their own health so they could save lives.
“Officials at every level are setting out the requirements of public health that protect us all, and we all need to do our part,” he continued. “The disease also threatens broader damage, harm to our sense of safety, security and community. The larger challenge we share is to confront an outbreak of fear and loneliness. And it is frustrating that many of the normal tools of compassion — a hug, a touch — can bring the opposite of the good we intend. In this case, we serve our neighbor by separating from them.”
Bush said we can’t allow physical separation to become emotional isolation. This means we have to be compassionate and creative, and people all over America are using the “tools of technology and the cause of solidarity.” He also referenced 9/11, saying that in the aftermath we saw a great nation to rise as one to honor the brave and grieve.
President Bush’s video immediately started trending on Twitter after it was posted on Saturday. Many were thrilled to hear such inspiring and kind words from the former President, but others weren’t impressed.
Here’s the difference. George W. Bush was horrible but on the traditional scale of wonderful to horrible. Trump is horrible on an immeasurable scale. It’s the difference between discovering a carton containing spoiled milk and one containing a portal to hell.
— Bill Prady (@billprady) May 3, 2020
One Twitter user wrote that the rehabilitation of George W. Bush was one of the “ugliest indictments of liberalism” they had ever seen. They pointed out that the Bush administration was responsible for killing thousands of Iraqis because of the Iraq War, not to mention his mishandling of Hurricane Katrina.
Another skeptic wrote: “The Democratic leadership’s rehabilitation of George W. Bush is repulsive. Torture. Maiming. Drones. Mass surveillance. A war based on lies. Katrina. The list goes on…Yet, Dem leaders are determined to bolster Bush’s image. Ask yourself why.”
One supporter of the President’s message said that in a million years, they never thought they would be crying watching Bush’s video and thinking how much better we’d all feel if Bush were president today.