Published: Mon, September 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Obama urges voters to mobilise against the 'politics of fear'

Obama urges voters to mobilise against the 'politics of fear'

Noting the history of former presidents avoiding the rough and tumble of politics, Obama acknowledged his sharp critique of Trump was something of a departure from tradition. "I complained plenty about Fox News, but you never heard me threaten to shut them down, or call them enemies of the people", he said. "Other voices (will) fill the void". "In two months we have a chance to restore some sanity to our politics". "We have the chance the flip the House of Representatives and make sure there are real checks in Washington!".

But on Friday, Obama offered his most pointed indictment of the political climate that has formed under the watch of Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress.

Obama, who is 57, said the greatest threat to U.S. democracy comes not from any single individual, or even from any group of billionaires seeking to dominate the nation's politics. "It is us not doing what we're supposed to do", he said.

It was clear in the audience, however, that most attendees believed Trump was the biggest threat.

Until now, Obama had been reluctant to criticise his successor publicly, although last week he appeared to chide Trump, without naming him, in a eulogy for the late Republican Senator John McCain.

As for voting, Obama criticized the fact that people usually vote for their favorite party instead of for the country.

"To us, social justice is about justice for American citizens and not illegal criminals".

The most interesting argument in Obama's speech in IL today was that both these conclusions are wrong.

Barack Obama has largely refrained from criticizing his successor, but that changed Friday in a speech at the University of IL.

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"You happen to be coming of age", Obama told students at the University of IL at Urbana Champaign.

"It did not start with Donald Trump", Obama said. "He is just capitalising on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years", he added before condemning the Republican party for "shielding" Trump from facing the consequences of his worst actions.

His overarching message in both speeches, however, was the complaining does nothing when people don't vote. "Suddenly, deficits don't matter, even though just two years ago, when the deficit was lower, they said, 'I couldn't help working families or seniors because it was, the deficit was, in existential crisis".

"I wish [Obama] would come [to California] more often because he reminds Republicans of eight years of misery".

Former President Barack Obama speaks to students at the University of Illinois where he accepted the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government on September 7, 2018 in Urbana, Illinois.

Mr Obama also poked fun on the issue the current president frequently heralds as one of his greatest achievements - the strong economy.

However, he said that the political moment required a pushback and called for better discourse.

Democrats certainly hope so as the midterms loom, with candidates reportedly flooding Obama's advisers with requests for personal appearances on the campaign trail. "What happened?" He argued that the primary principles that the Republican Party once stood for--lower taxes, aggressive foreign policy especially in regards to Russian Federation, shrinking the national debt--had been sabotaged by Trump's influence.

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