Press Release

President George W. Bush discusses the state of American democracy in an exclusive interview for the Bush Institute’s quarterly publication, The Catalyst

Dallas, Texas – In the Winter 2024 edition of The Catalyst: A Journal of Ideas from the Bush Institute, contributors examine the evolution of American democracy and its current state. President George W. Bush weighs-in on the state of the union and why Americans should remain hopeful. Former Utah Senator Mitt Romney discusses the importance of generational leadership and Kansas Governor Laura Kelly explores bipartisanship.

Ryan Streeter of the Civitas Institute at the University of Texas at Austin sets the stage with a conversation of how we got here, and University of Chicago’s Professor of American History Jane Dailey provides critical historical context. Other contributors go on to explore a range of creative solutions to fight polarization, refine our elections, make government more responsive, and rebuild trust and civility.

President Bush offers insightful advice for citizens and policymakers on how we can come together as a nation. He also shares insights on the country’s ability to self-correct.

“The ship of state may list, but it’s not going to sink,” President Bush said. “Democracy will self-correct. The office of the president is more important than the occupant, which allows all of us with our strengths and weaknesses to come and go. And the ship of state sails on.”

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin writes about his experiences as the Republican governor of a state that has otherwise been blue politically since 2008 and explains how Virginia can serve as a model for the rest of the country. In a point/counterpoint, The New York Times’ Jesse Wegman argues for abandoning the Electoral College, while Jay Cost of the American Enterprise Institute warns that doing so would cause more problems than it would fix.

This issue of The Catalyst creates constructive and civil conversations. In that vein, on Feb. 6 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., a virtual Engage at the Bush Center presented by NexPoint conversation will focus on this moment in American history to contextualize the struggles faced by American society and democracy today. The discussion will feature a live Q&A with experts Dailey and Streeter. For more information about the webinar, visit


What: The State of American Democracy

When: Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024

11:30 a.m. CT

Where: Virtual

Click here to register for the webinar


About the George W. Bush Institute

The George W. Bush Institute is a solution-oriented nonpartisan policy organization focused on ensuring opportunity for all, strengthening democracy, and advancing free societies. Housed within the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the Bush Institute is rooted in compassionate conservative values and committed to creating positive, meaningful, and lasting change at home and abroad. We utilize our unique platform and convening power to advance solutions to national and global issues of the day. Learn more at