Former President Barack Obama used a speech, honoring the legacy of former South African President Nelson Mandela, to take shots at President Donald Trump. The speech came a day after the president met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and sent Democrats into a rage. But, rather than landing a blow against Trump, Obama humiliated himself instead.
The former president gave his speech on foreign soil in Johannesburg, South Africa to mark the 100th birthday of Mandela, but he left no doubt that his criticism was for President Trump, as he stealthily avoided saying his name.
“The politics of fear and resentment and retrenchment began to appear. And, that kind of politics is now on the move. It’s on the move at a pace that would have seemed unimaginable just a few years ago,” he said to the audience of around 15,000, CNN reported.
“I am not being alarmist, I’m simply stating the facts. Look around — strongman politics are ascendant, suddenly, whereby elections and some pretense of democracy are maintained, the form of it, where those in powers seek to undermine every institution or norm that gives democracy meaning,” he added.
The former president, who famously told the Lie of the Year in 2013 when he said, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” mocked other politicians for allegedly lying. It was a blatant jab at President Trump.
“This is another one of these things that I didn’t think I had to lecture about. You have to believe in facts. Without facts, there’s no basis for cooperation. If I say this is a podium and you say this is an elephant, it’s going to be hard for us to cooperate,” former President Obama said.
“I can’t find common ground if somebody says that climate change just isn’t happening when almost all the world’s scientists tell us it is. I don’t know where to start talking to you about this. If you say it’s an elaborate hoax, where do we start?” the 44th president said.
“People just make stuff up. They just make stuff up. We see it in the growth of state-sponsored propaganda. We see it in internet fabrications. We see it in the blurring of lines between news and entertainment. We see the utter loss of shame among political leaders, where they’re caught in a lie and they just double down and they lie some more. It used to be that if you caught them lying, they’d be like, oh man — now they just keep on lying,” he continued.
People just make stuff up? Does he mean like going on a nationwide tour and saying that people could keep their doctors and healthcare plans when you were aware the entire time that it was a falsehood? Is that the kind of stuff Obama means?
Or did he mean more like these statements that Politifact called lies? Like when he said, “We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas,” or when he alleged, “‘Fast and Furious‘ began under the Bush administration,” even though the program began in 2009.
“On Madiba’s 100 birthday, we now stand at a crossroads,” he said, using a nickname for former President Mandela. “How should we respond? Should we see that wave of hope that we felt with Madiba’s release from prison? From the Berlin Wall coming down? Should we see that hope that we had as naïve and misguided?” he asked.
“Let me tell you what I believe. I believe in Nelson Mandela’s vision, I believe in a vision shared by Gandhi and King, and Abraham Lincoln, I believe in a vision of equality and justice and freedom and multi-racial democracy built on a pretense that all people are created equal and are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights. And, I believe that a world governed by such principles is possible and that it can achieve more peace and more cooperation in pursuits of a common good. That’s what I believe,” he claimed.
Yet, did he make any of that happen? No. Instead, former President Obama spent a good portion of his presidency traveling to foreign lands and criticizing America, which is a stark contrast from President Trump who raises the ire of Democrats by placing the United States first wherever he visits. It should be no surprise that the former president is continuing his practice, but it should be something that those who call themselves patriots, including Democrats, rally against.