In a video message Saturday, former president George W. Bush appealed for national unity in this “challenging and solemn time” of the COVID-19 pandemic — and invoked Americans’ better selves of “service and sacrifice” amid the crushing crisis.
The message — entitled the “The Call to Unite” and posted by the George W. Bush Presidential Center — was a striking contrast between a former Republican president and Donald Trump, who has fueled increasing division. Trump has urged his supporters to “liberate” Democratic states — and threatened not to aid financially struggling blue states unless they “give us a lot.”
Bush cautioned in his three-minute video: “We rise or fall together.”
“Let us remember how small our differences are in the face of this shared threat,” Bush said. “In the final analysis, we are not partisan combatants. We are human beings, equally vulnerable and equally wonderful in the sight of God.”
But he also reminded people that the COVID-19 toll will not fall equally on everyone — and that it’s up to the generosity of the American spirit to help those most in need.
“In the days to come, it will be especially important to care in practical ways for the elderly, the ill and the unemployed,” Bush said.
He also urged everyone to do their part in following safety measures to protect people from infection.
Some hailed Bush’s sentiments as those from a real leader in times of crisis.
But other critics on Twitter weren’t about to rewrite history just because Bush looks better now compared to Trump. They skewered his administration’s big lie of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction that launched the Iraq War in 2003 and his badly botched response to Hurricane Katrina.
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How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
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