The 43rd president had some wise words for the world not so long ago.
With sometimes confusing lines like, "Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?" and "I think we can agree, the past is over," the 43rd president of the United States was well known for his "Bushisms."
While his sillier quotes often stand out, George W. Bush actually said some pretty thoughtful, poignant things during his time as president (though, to be sure, his policy positions didn't always align with the ideals he expressed).
Even so, looking back on some of his more profound words can come as a breath of fresh air in our modern political landscape.
Here are seven nearly forgotten quotes of his you might agree with:
1. On fighting bigotry:
2. On civility:
3. On second chances for prisoners:
4. On tolerance and religious freedom:
5. On gun safety:
6. On racial profiling:
7. On the American promise:
It's almost unthinkable that these statements would come from President Bush's successors in 2016. That's what makes them remarkable.
In an era where any attempt to implement gun control measures is met with an impenetrable wall of dissent, something as simple as requiring instant background checks for sales at gun shows sounds like a radical idea coming from a member of the GOP. And as debate rages on over whether an entire religion is an inherent threat, it's comforting to know that, at least in rhetoric, inclusion was mainstream not so long ago.
Perhaps the big takeaway here should be hope. If positions can change so radically over eight years, who's to say what things will look like four — or eight — years from now?
Political differences will always exist, but that's no reason to stop hoping and trying to create a better world together. Whether you generally agree with the former president or not, it's heartening to know we're not too far removed from the days when these were common ideals. That, if anything, should give you hope for the future.