Obama says U.S. Democracy is at Peril and Calls Trump Unfit
On Wednesday, former U.S. President Barack Obama berated his successor, Donald Trump, as extensively unfit for the office he uses and alleged that voting for his former No. 2, Joe Biden, was crucial in ensuring the survival of American democracy.
Series of Critical Comments
“He’s shown no interest in putting in the work; no interest in finding common ground; no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends; no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves,” Obama talked about Trump during the third night of the Democratic National Convention.
After getting past direct criticism for most of Trump’s first term, the withering broadsides from Obama consisted of an unusually harsh appraisal of one president by another. However, Trump has rarely hesitated to attack Obama, often leveling accusations of misconduct without evidence.
Obama directly blamed Trump for the 170,000 Americans who have lost their lives from the coronavirus. He also criticized Trump for millions of job losses. He also pointed out the decline in the country’s democratic principles at home and abroad.
Obama criticized that Trump, a Republican, is incapable of meeting the demands of the presidency. This allegation has echoed the remarks from his wife, Michelle Obama, on Monday, that Trump “simply cannot be who we need him to be.”
“Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t,” Obama said. “And the consequences of that failure are severe.”
On Twitter, Trump reciprocated to Obama’s appearance in all capital letters, alleging Obama’s decision to endorse Biden only after his Democratic competitors dropped out suggested doubts about Biden’s candidacy.
Backing up his “Brother”
However, on Wednesday, Obama delivered a full-fledged endorsement of Biden and vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, saying they “actually care about every American, and they care deeply about this democracy.”
Biden, 77, got his formal nomination on Tuesday night to compete with Trump, 74, in the Nov. 3 presidential election. Obama, 59, was clear in his praise for his former vice president, expressing Biden became a “brother” to him.
“For eight years, Joe was the last one in the room whenever I faced a big decision,” he said. “He made me a better president and he’s got the character and the experience to make us a better country.”
For Obama and Biden, the election is an opportunity to help secure their administration’s legacy, consisting of the restoration of dozens of policies on immigration, climate change, and healthcare that Trump has continuously sought to disintegrate.
The Virtual Convention
The Biden campaign will deploy Obama, who is a popular figure, as a key face during the campaign’s closing months. However, the coronavirus pandemic has all but curbed orthodox in-person events such as rallies.
Obama addressed the virtual convention from the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. It is the place where the U.S. Constitution and the founding democratic principles of the country were drafted.
“The one constitutional office elected by all of the people is the presidency,” he said. “So at a minimum, we should expect a president to feel a sense of responsibility for the safety and welfare of all 330 million of us. … But we should also expect a president to be the custodian of this democracy.”
According to Obama, Trump had failed in all those tests.
With an emotional voice, Obama asked Americans to vote, warning that Trump and his Republican allies can win only by suppressing and undermining votes, rather than on the merits of their policies.
“Do not let them take away your power,” Obama said. “Do not let them take away your democracy. Make a plan right now for how you’re going to get involved and vote.”