Bill Clinton went on the assault against sitting President Donald Trump over his travel ban and a range of other issues, finally responding to the Republican’s attacks on his legacy.
Clinton, in a New York Times op-ed, ripped Trump’s America and the social platforms and media outlets that allow him to spread ‘division.’
‘Our most important challenge is deciding who we Americans really are — as citizens, communities and a nation. On that, all else depends,’ Clinton assesses.
The Democrat whose wife Hillary was felled by Trump in the last election never invoked the current commander-in-chief by name. The backdrop of the opinion piece, however, was a Supreme Court ruling backing up Trump’s latest travel ban.
A high court decision on Monday allowed Trump’s extreme vetting procedures to take effect while his executive actions are evaluated.
The ruling suggests that Trump’s measures, which now apply to six Muslim-majority nations and North Korea, will be upheld when they make their way to the top of the judicial ladder.
Critics of the policy say Trump is inherently targeting followers of Islam. After all, he openly pursued a ‘total and complete shutdown’ of Muslims entering America until the nation’s terror problem could be resolved when he was a candidate.
Administration lawyers have argued the temporary measure is not meant to exclude members of any one religion. Instead, they have said, it is narrowly tailored to keep out residents of countries it has deemed to be national security threats.
Clinton indirectly referenced the debate in an op-ed published late on Monday, in which he went on a spiel about the embrace of ‘tribalism based on race, religion, sexual identity and place of birth.’
‘All too often,’ he said, ‘[it] has replaced inclusive nationalism, in which you can be proud of your tribe and still embrace the larger American community.
‘And too often resentment conquers reason, anger blinds us to answers and sanctimony passes for authenticity,’ the former president said.
He said social media platforms – namely Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook – had lessened Americans’ attention span.
‘Too many social media sites are fever swamps of extremist foreign and domestic invaders,’ he said. ‘Such resolute efforts to abolish the line between fact and fiction, truth and lies, can offset all the benefits of our interconnectedness.’
The observation appeared to be a reference to Trump’s own use of social media and his retweets last week of a fringe group in the U.K. spreading false information about Muslims.
‘When trust vanishes and knowledge is devalued as an establishment defense of the status quo, anything can happen. We already see citizens being disenfranchised by the millions, targeted by race, ethnicity and age not because they are ineligible to vote, but because they favor inclusive, not tribal, nationalism,’ Clinton wrote.
People who win ‘in this kind of environment,’ he wrote, are ‘those who already have it made.’