Former President George W. Bush said recently he is concerned the U.S. is returning to a ‘nativist’ mindset.
To explain his concern, Bush spoke of three recurring “isms” in America: “One is isolationism, and its evil twin, protectionism, and its evil triplet, nativism,” Bush said at Southern Methodist University in Dallas late last month.
[TPM SLIDESHOW: Decision Points! Looking Back At The Bush Years]
Bush said he thinks a rational immigration policy will eventually be passed, but it’s still a ways off.
He referred to the 1920s, when Congress passed an immigration law that set a cap of the number of immigrants the U.S. would accept each year. Bush said the legislation was intended to limit the number of “Jews and Italians” in America.
“My point is, we’ve been through this kind of period of isolationism, protectionism, nativism,” he said. “I’m a little concerned that we may be going through the same period. I hope that these “isms” pass,” he said, adding that it would allow the U.S. a more orderly look at immigration policy.
Bush said growing up in Texas gave him the opportunity to interact with different cultures.
“We ought to welcome people from different cultures to America,” he said.
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h/t Huffington Post
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com