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Trump's 'supremacist' views rooted in elitism

Ruben Navarrette Jr. on

SAN DIEGO -- Is Donald Trump a white supremacist? It seems that George W. Bush thinks the robe fits.

Based on hard-hitting remarks Thursday that seem to have been aimed at Trump, one can infer that the former president believes the current occupant of the Oval Office has emboldened white supremacists, promoted bigotry and fueled a spike in what Bush called "nationalism distorted into nativism."

Speaking at an event in New York City sponsored by the George W. Bush Institute, Bush reminded this nation of immigrants of "the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America" and pushed back against those who divide the country.

"Our identity as a nation, unlike many other nations, is not determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or blood," he said. "This means that people from every race, religion, ethnicity can be fully and equally American. It means that bigotry and white supremacy, in any form, is blasphemy against the American creed."

Hearing these words, I smiled. And all I could think was: Oh boy, do I miss me some W.

(Disclosure: I'm a senior adviser at the Bush Institute in Dallas.)

Trump is the second U.S. president to make me nostalgic for the 43rd president. The first was Barack Obama.

Bravo to 43 for expertly diagnosing what ails America, and for reminding us that there is nothing wrong with our country that can't be fixed by what is right with it. As Bush said, "To renew our country, we only need to remember our values."

As to whether Trump is a white supremacist, many Americans consider the question a no brainer. My family and friends have held this view for many months, and they've tried to convince me to jump on the bandwagon. They get frustrated that I don't see what they see.

But I'm just not there yet, I tell them.

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