Thursday, December 07, 2017

Did Obama Just Compare Trump to Hitler?

Barack Obama appeared at a question & answer session last night at the Economic Club of Chicago. A reporter from Crain's Chicago Business attended.

Obama's comments came after a series of playful questions from moderator and Ariel Investments President Mellody Hobson—in the great Batman vs. Superman debate, for instance, we learned Obama sides with Batman—before she eventually asked him what he's learned as a world citizen of sorts.

One thing he's learned is that "things don't happen internationally if we don't put our shoulder to the wheel," Obama said, speaking of the U.S. "No other country has the experience and bandwidth and ideals. . . .If the U.S. doesn't do it, it's not going to happen."

Obama moved from that to talking about a nativist mistrust and unease that has swept around the world. He argued that such things as the speed of technical change and the uneven impact of globalization have come too quickly to be absorbed in many cultures, bringing strange new things and people to areas in which "people didn't (used to) challenge your assumptions." As a result, "nothing feels solid," he said. "Sadly, there's something in us that looks for simple answers when we're agitated."

Still, the U.S. has survived tough times before and will again, he noted, particularly mentioning the days of communist fighter Joseph McCarthy and former President Richard Nixon. But one reason the country survived is because it had a free press to ask questions, Obama added. Though he has problems with the media just like Trump has had, "what I understood was the principle that the free press was vital."

The danger is "grow(ing) complacent," Obama said. "We have to tend to this garden of democracy or else things could fall apart quickly."

That's what happened in Germany in the 1930s, which despite the democracy of the Weimar Republic and centuries of high-level cultural and scientific achievements, Adolph Hitler rose to dominate, Obama noted. "Sixty million people died. . . .So, you've got to pay attention. And vote."


rww said...

Sounds more like he compared the American people of today to the German people of the 1930s.

The Mound of Sound said...

Yes, rww, your take is more accurate.

Anonymous said...
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Trailblazer said...

Much akin to Tony Blair becoming a peace envoy for the middle east!.

Maybe deciding upon who should live and who should die for a few years makes a person more worldly?
Nah ,they are still just murderers..


Trailblazer said...

When you have been an asshole for many years and suddenly you do something good; are you still an arsehole?


Anonymous said...

"So, you've got to pay attention. And vote."

Good ol' Obama, still bringing a knife to a gun fight. Clinton got almost 3 million more votes than Trump, yet Trump is president. The system's broken and corrupt and no amount of voting is going to restore democracy.


Anonymous said...

"The system's broken and corrupt" and the last potus in charge of the broken and corrupt system, "Good ol' Obama," did nothing to fix it.
For the long eight years.