Barack Obama finally takes a swipe at Donald Trump: strongman politics

- 7/18/2018

With what must have taken extreme self control and probably a good deal of wisdom, Barack Obama has generally stayed out of  US politics commentary since leaving office. But recently, in South Africa while giving a speech the 44th President of the United States couldn't help taking a thinly-veiled swipe at his Successor Donald Trump. He warned against the dangers of 'strongman politics'.
Barack Obama and Donald Trump Mandela speech

Of course the former President did not refer to Trump by name, but stated emphatically that the world should resist cynicism over the rise of strongmen.

Obama has mostly been quiet about the political atmosphere. His speech was among the most pointed comments he has made about politics since leaving office back in January 2017.

He was speaking at an event in Johannesburg to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nelson Mandela.

Here is a bit of the thought provoking statements made by Obama:

"Just as people spoke about the triumph of democracy in the 90s, people now are talking about the triumph of tribalism and the strong man.

"But we need to resist that cynicism."

Some of Obama's language echoed that of Trump's critics.

He also spoke about the cleverly concealed ignorance of his successor—as well as the lies. 

"Too much of politics today seems to reject the very concept of objective truth. 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-driven fabrications. We see it in the 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.
"Let me say politicians have always lied but it used to be if you caught them lying, they'd be like 'oh man'. Now they just keep on lying."

Since leaving the White House, Obama has  has refrained from criticising Trump, something many wish he would do. 

Several Democrats even believe he should play a more direct role.

The kind of move Trump made on Monday when he publicly took the side of Russian President Vladimir Putin over alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, and casting doubt on the near concrete findings of his own US intelligence agencies, sparked a lot of criticism at home.

But in a special day, in a stadium filled with thousands, Obama did not forget why he was there—for Mandela's legacy. He lauded the life  of the late South African Icon for its sacrifice and commitment to social justice. Something  I bet Obama wished Trump possessed at this time of Precarious  US and world Politics. 


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