Former President Bush speech yesterday and current Ethiopian politics
Tigrai Online, Oct. 20, 2017
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Former President Bush speech Yesterday at Bush Institute Summit could have been directed to the Ethiopian government and people. The former President George W. Bush’s remarks "The Spirit of Liberty: At Home, In The World" at the Bush Institute Summit in New York City sounded as if he was directly addressing Ethiopians.
Former President Bush made a speech yesterday and how alomst directly relates to the current Ethiopian politics
In the following paragraphs below is part of the Former President George W. Bush transcript which we thought might apply to Ethiopia and Ethiopians.
… America is not immune from these trends. In recent decades, public confidence in our institutions has declined. Our governing class has often been paralyzed in the face of obvious and pressing needs. The American dream of upward mobility seems out of reach for some who feel left behind in a changing economy. Discontent deepened and sharpened partisan conflicts. Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.
There are some signs that the intensity of support for democracy itself has waned, especially among the young, who never experienced the galvanizing moral clarity of the Cold War, or never focused on the ruin of entire nations by socialist central planning. Some have called this “democratic deconsolidation.” Really, it seems to be a combination of weariness, frayed tempers, and forgetfulness.
We have seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. At times, it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. Argument turns too easily into animosity. Disagreement escalates into dehumanization. Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions – forgetting the image of God we should see in each other.
We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism – forgotten the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America. We see a fading confidence in the value of free markets and international trade – forgetting that conflict, instability, and poverty follow in the wake of protectionism.
We have seen the return of isolationist sentiments – forgetting that American security is directly threatened by the chaos and despair of distant places, where threats such as terrorism, infectious disease, criminal gangs and drug trafficking tend to emerge.
In all these ways, we need to recall and recover our own identity. Americans have a great advantage: To renew our country, we only need to remember our values.
This is part of the reason we meet here today. How do we begin to encourage a new, 21st century American consensus on behalf of democratic freedom and free markets?... Emphasis Tigrai Online.
If you can replace the words America, Americans, and American by Ethiopia, Ethiopians, and Ethiopian, the bare bone ideas of the speech word by word could apply to what is happening in Ethiopia in recent years and months.
We know some of you might question the former American president’s moral ground after what happened in Iraq under his administration, but that is not the point we are interested in today. We are focusing on the speech he gave and the ideas expressed herein and how relevant some of the thoughts are to Ethiopians.
Many of the political, socioeconomic, geopolitical, ethnic strife and other challenges facing Ethiopia and Ethiopians are not unique to Ethiopia. Countries like the United States of America and India supposedly with mature democratic institutions and experience are facing similar problems. The difference is whenever the people are upset about some issues they don’t run around burning transport trucks, business or deport their neighbors. These things don’t happen in America for two reasons. One the USA federal and state governments would not let it happen, ever. Two the people would never think burning businesses worth millions of dollars and get away with it.
We have heard Ethiopian government officials for years saying our main enemy is “poverty”. That is noble concept and it should be appreciated, but it is somewhat naïve to assume Ethiopia could eradicate poverty without paying significant attention to strong defense, security, safety, national unity and other components of national interests.
The Ethiopian government needs to rethink and prioritize its policies for Ethiopia taking into consideration our history, ethnic makeup, and our geopolitical location. We can’t wish our problems away they would disappear magically. There should be realistic policy change that reflects the new realities of the current Ethiopia and we can learn from the Americans a great deal.
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