Obama warns Americans that complacency was responsible for the rise of Nazi Germany.
Former President Barack Obama gave a grave warning about the state of America’s democracy at the Economic Club of Chicago on Tuesday. And although he didn’t mention Trump by name, it was clear that he saw the reality TV host in the White House as the catalyst pushing the country toward events similar to those that gave rise to fascism in Nazi Germany in the 1920’s.
Now, presume there was a ballroom in Vienna in the late 1920s or ’30s that looked and seemed as if, you know, when the music and art and literature and science was emerging, that it would continue into perpetuity. And then 60 million people died, and an entire world was plunged into chaos…
I wouldn’t underestimate the very simple act of being engaged, paying attention, and speaking out. Typically that’s what it comes down to in a democracy…. Otherwise things can fall apart fairly quickly. “
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) December 9, 2017
Donald Trump campaigned on being a ‘different’ kind of president. But different is not the same as acting so far outside of democratic norms that the institutional structures that hold our government together are deliberately undermined to the brink of failure.
There was as much to be gleaned from what Mr. Obama said, as there was in what he didn’t say.
Trump started his campaign insulting Mexicans, and wrapped it up a week before Election Day, bragging on an Access Hollywood tape about how he could sexually assault women with ease because he was a TV ‘star.’ Since then, he has turned the office of the presidency into a freak show, while bringing the world to the brink of nuclear war with North Korea via his unhinged Twitter storms. His mental stability has been called into question, and his continual lying has been an embarrassment to decent Americans and reduced our standing in the world.
Mr. Obama did not mention the mounting evidence that Trump may have conspired with Russia to rig the 2016 presidential election in his favor. Nor did he call out Trump for his support in the upcoming Alabama senate race for an accused pedophile, who fondly recalls the days of slavery as a time when America was ‘great.’ That was a given.
Amid all the threats Trump posses to the America we knew, the worst by far are his open attacks on the First Amendment.
President Trump’s disregard for a free press just reached a new low: He’s urging the Senate Intelligence Committee to investigate American news outlets for publishing “fake” stories.
Despite Trump’s clear displays of unfitness for the office he holds, the Republican-controlled congress seems more interested in passing a tax cut plan that will make income inequality even worse, while exploding the nation’s debt, which, in turn, will be used as an excuse to cut programs like Social Security and access to healthcare, among others.
Former President Obama didn’t say any of that, and perhaps he didn’t have to. Instead, he gave us the solution to the Trump problem. “So you’ve got to pay attention – and vote.”
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