The former President of the United States, George W. Bush, made quite a splash recently when he took swipes at President Donald J. Trump.
First, the consternation of Deplorables aside, for purposes of clarity, it is actually a very good thing that Bush delivered his speech. To as great an extent as anyone, the former President signifies the neoconservatism against which traditional conservative and Republican voters rebelled when they catapulted Trump to victory.
In other words, the symbolism involved in juxtaposing Bush with Trump couldn’t be richer inasmuch it symbolizes nothing more or less than the dramatic contrast between two ideal types: the GOP of yesteryear, a party run (and run into the ground) by neoconservatives, and the “populist,” more traditionally conservative GOP of the present and future.
To be clear, the contrast in question here is largely symbolic: Substantively speaking, Trump’s GOP has as yet shown few signs of having repented of its past ways (or of even having a pulse). The neocons, on the other hand, are still very much alive. Still, there can be no question that they have been humiliated and that Trump is looking to steer the party in a new direction.
Second, that Bush, who insisted upon being neither seen nor heard during the entirety of Barack Obama’s eight year tenure in the White House, should only now break his silence by criticizing Trump is a painful reminder of who he has always been.