Bill Clinton launches wide-ranging attack on Trump without naming him hitting out at travel ban and social media used to create 'division'
- Bill Clinton went on the assault against Trump over his travel ban and a range of other issues, finally responding to the Republican's attacks on his legacy
- 'Our most important challenge is deciding who we Americans really are...On that, all else depends,' Clinton assesses in a new op-ed
- 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
- Trump has claimed that the Clintons were part of a pay-for-play scheme while Hillary was secretary of state and has taken slaps at Bill over North Korea
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.
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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
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.'
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
'The least responsible members of the political media, who will prosper covering each new controversy and outrage,' he said. 'And the enemies of democracy, who feed the discord and hope that Americans will finally concede that informed self-government no longer works — and perhaps is no longer even possible — in the modern world.'?
Clinton's op-ed echoes themes Barack Obama and wife Hillary Clinton hit on last year as Trump campaigned for the presidency.
The former president has been relatively silent while his wife has traveled the country, thrashing Trump and promoting her election memoir, despite the Republican's occasional attempts to needle him.??
Besides accusing the Clintons of a pay-for-play scheme while Hillary was secretary of state and a wide range of 'crooked' behavior, Trump has tried to unravel areas of Bill's presidency, particularly when it comes to North Korea,?an increasingly isolated country under immense U.S. and international sanctions.
North Korea is the only country on Trump's newest extreme vetting list that does not boast a large population of Muslims.
Trump has berated Clinton and every president who came after him for their failure to curtail the regime's nuclear ambitions, beginning with a 1994 accord that the two-term president's administration is responsible for.
He has likewise claimed that his predecessors generally left him with a 'mess' on both the domestic and foreign fronts.?
The 42nd President of the United States hit back at Trump on Monday, saying that the United States has a 'serious set of security challenges,' which include nuclear proliferation and terrorism that 'have contributed to declining economic mobility, increasing political and social alienation and more personal insecurity for millions of our fellow citizens.'
'These forces have increased our divisions, and make it even harder to recover our sense of common purpose,' said Clinton, whose remembered for residing over the country during a time of economic prosperity.
Clinton also defended the Democratic overhaul of the health system that failed during his administration but was realized during Barack Obama's.?
'Health care reform has brought millions of people affordable, quality medical insurance for the first time, but we have wasted too much time fighting over efforts to repeal that progress when we should be fixing the problems that remain and preparing for the aging of our population,' he said.
Bringing up the Charlottesville race riot that left one protester of white supremacism dead and Trump under massive scrutiny for his claim there were fine people on both sides of the dispute, Clinton said: 'We are reminded that the racial divide remains a curse that can be revived with devastating consequences.'
Clinton concluded by reflecting on his own presidency.?
'I said that every American should follow our Constitutional framers’ command to form a more perfect union, to constantly expand the definition of “us” and shrink the definition of “them.” I still believe that,' he said.
'Because I do, I favor policies that promote cooperation over conflict and build an economy, a society and a politics of addition not subtraction, multiplication not division.?
'Unfortunately, too many people in power across the world seem determined to do the reverse. If we do that here, we will miss this moment to build our brightest days,' he said.
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