Trump Condemns 'hatred, Bigotry And Violence On Many Sides' In Charlottesville

Russia, Bush said, has made a “project of turning Americans against each other” in a bid to undermine U.S. electoral confidence, and he warned it will continue to meddle in future elections.

“Ultimately, this assault won't succeed. But foreign aggressions, including cyber-attacks, disinformation and financial influence, should not be downplayed or tolerated,” Bush said.

The longtime Republican leader argued that proliferating "economic, political and national security challenges" are "made worse by the tendency to turn inward," in what many interpreted as a reference to the ideologies espoused by some in and outside the Trump administration.

"These matters would be difficult under any circumstances," Bush said. "They are further complicated by a trend in Western countries away from global engagement and democratic confidence."

America must "recall and recover" its identity, he said, warning of the consequences of abandoning core values.

"We've seen nationalism distorted into nativism, [forgetting] the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America," he said. "We see a fading confidence in the value of free markets and international trade, forgetting that conflict, instability, and poverty follow in the wake of protectionism."

"We have seen the return of isolationist sentiments, forgetting that American security is directly threatened by the chaos and despair of distant places, where threats such as terrorism, infectious disease, criminal gangs and drug trafficking tend to emerge," he continued.

On national unity

Bush also bemoaned a decline in American civility, saying, “We’ve seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty ... argument turns too easily into animosity. Disagreement escalates into dehumanization.”

“At times it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together,” he said.

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