Former President Barack Obama destroys the Republican Party and Donald Trump in his name in his State of Democracy speech at the University of Illinois, saying, the “appeal to racial nationalism is barely veiled.”
The divisiveness in the Republican Party “did not start with Donald Trump. He’s just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years. A fear, an anger that is rooted in our past but also borne of the upheavals that have taken place in your lifetimes.”
He said the politics of resentment and paranoia has found a home in the Republican Party over the last few decades. He said the party has systematically attacked voting rights to make it harder for people to cast a ballot. He said the party has embraced wild conspiracy theories around Benghazi and his birth certificate.
"The politics of division and paranoia has found a home, unfortunately, in the Republican party. … they've embraced wild conspiracy theories by those surrounding Benghazi. Or my birth certificate." President Obama #VoteDem pic.twitter.com/8nmn2X67iQ
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) September 7, 2018
He said the vision of the Republican Party is one that will hurt the country to protect it’s views. He said this vision is now nearing its logical conclusion — running up deficits, giving tax breaks to the wealthy, and “don’t even pretend to pay for it.” He added, “suddenly deficits do not matter.”
“What happened to the Republican Party? Its central organizing principle in foreign policy was the fight against Communism, and now they’re cozying up to the former head of the KGB.”
Obama said the people inside the White House who are trying to keep the country safe were not elected and this is not normal. He said they are trying to cover up the crazy stuff coming out of the White House.
President Obama said “this is one of those pivotal moments when every one of us, as citizens of the United States, need to determine just who it is that we are. Just what it is that we stand for.”
“The stakes really are higher. The consequences of any of us sitting on the sidelines are more dire,” he said, citing “a glance at recent headlines” as providing proof that “this moment really is different.” “We can’t just put walls up all around America. Walls don’t keep out terrorism and disease.”
“We do not pressure the Attorney General or the Justice Department to act as a cudgel to go after political opponents.” He said it shouldn’t be Democratic or Republican to attack freedom of the press because they say things “we don’t like.” “It should not be democratic or republican to threaten the freedom of he press… We are suppose to stand up to bullies. To discrimination. To Nazi sympathizers. How hard can that be to say Nazis are bad?”
“Even if you don’t agree with me on economic policy even if you are a libertarian an evangelical you should still want to see a restoration of honesty and decency and lawfulness in our government,” Obama said.
Watch President Obama’s full speech: