Published: Fri, September 07, 2018
Economy | By

Barack Obama gives speech today as he receives ethics award

Barack Obama gives speech today as he receives ethics award

"This is not normal".

The speech, which the former president gave after receiving an award for ethics, is Obama's first major foray into political stumping ahead of the November elections.

But the former president also said the country finds itself at crossroads under Trump.

"We are Americans: we're supposed to stand up to bullies, not follow them". "We are supposed to stand up to discrimination and we sure as heck supposed to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathisers". "How hard can that be, saying "Nazis are bad"?"

He lacerated Mr Trump's calls for the US Department of Justice to investigate his political enemies.

He ripped the Republican Congress over the same issues while mocking them for enabling Trump and tut-tutting his controversies.

"You can not sit back and wait for a savior", Obama said.

"If you thought elections don't matter, I hope these last two years have corrected that impression", he said. "And they are unsafe times".

It's the first time 44's publicly attacked 45 since leaving office and, honestly, it's the kind of talk Democrats have been dying to hear from Obama. "These people aren't elected". They are not accountable.

"They're not doing us a service by actively promoting 90 percent of the insane stuff that's coming out of this White House, and then saying, 'Don't worry, we're preventing the other 10 percent, '" Obama said.


Since Trump took office, Obama has largely held back, critiquing the Trump administration only in generalities in an attempt to respect the transition of presidential power.

That's how real change starts, Obama said.

"Over the past few decades, the politics of division and resentment and paranoia has unfortunately found a home in the Republican party", he added.

"Even if you don't agree with me or Democrats on policy".

"Do not let people tell you the fight's not worth it because you won't get everything that you want".

In his first major political speech since leaving the White House, Obama made a lengthy appeal to voters across the USA to restore "a healthy democracy", and denounced the tactics employed by Trump and Republicans in Washington as an unprecedented threat to the country's future. "A fear and anger that's rooted in our past but it's also born out of the enormous upheavals that are taking place in your brief lifetimes".

And Republicans welcomed Obama's return to the campaign trail on Friday, arguing he is the best weapon they have to motivate their base.

The decision by the most recognizable figure in the Democratic Party could energize his supporters, but it also comes with the risk of motivating Republicans to head to the polls.

While it is unknown if Obama will mention Trump by name or not, he is expected to make a direct rebuke to Trump's way of governing.

In his remarks, Obama highlighted the anonymous op-ed in The New York Times this week, published by a Senior Administration Official.

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