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Bill Clinton Denounces Donald Trump’s Nationalism

“It’s like we’re all having an identity crisis at once,” the former president said during a speech at the Brookings Institution.

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Although he didn’t mention Donald Trump by name, former President Bill Clinton denounced the current president’s own brand of nationalism during a speech at the Brookings Institution on Thursday.

“People who claim to want the nation-state are actually trying to have a pan-national movement to institutionalize separatism and division within borders all over the world,” Clinton said. “It’s like we’re all having an identity crisis at once — and it is an inevitable consequence of the economic and social changes that have occurred at an increasingly rapid pace.”

The speech marked Clinton’s first public appearance since his wife lost the 2016 Presidential Election. It was here that he repeatedly warned against an “us versus them” mentality, which he believes has become such an integral part of politics in the United States and throughout Europe.

“The whole history of humankind is basically the definition of who is us and who is them, and the question of whether we should all live under the same set of rules,” said Clinton. He also added that often, people “have found more political success and met the deep psychic needs people have had to feel their identity requires them to be juxtaposed against someone else.”

Clinton delivered the keynote speech during the venue’s honoring of the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated in 1995 for negotiating a peace deal with Palestinians. Clinton called the day of the assassination the worst day of his presidency. “I remain convinced that had he lived we would have achieved a comprehensive agreement with the Palestinians by 1998 and we’d be living in a different world today.”

He recalled Rabin’s own words and motivations for making a peace deal as follows: “Very soon we will either no longer be a democracy or no longer be a Jewish state.”

Clinton insisted that his old friend’s candid approach to peace is needed now more than ever. “If you got that, in every age and time, the challenges we face can be resolved in a way to keep us going forward, instead of taking us to the edge of our destruction.”

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