“Parts of Europe have developed an identity crisis,” Bush said in a speech sponsored by the George W. Bush Institute in New York. “We have seen insolvency, economic stagnation, youth unemployment, anger about immigration, resurgent ethno-nationalism and questions about the meaning and durability of the European Union. America is not immune.”
“In recent decades public confidence in our institutions has declined, our governing class has often been paralyzed in the face of obvious and pressing needs, the American dream of upward mobility seems out of reach to some who feel left behind in a changing economy, discontent deepened and sharpened partisan conflicts, our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication, there are some signs that the intensity of support for democracy itself has waned — especially among the young.”
“We’ve seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. At times it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. Argument turns too easily into animosity, disagreement escalates into dehumanization,” Bush continued.