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Obama Blasts Trump’s "Us-Versus-Them" Rhetoric, Chosen Path For United States

The United States “may go backward instead of forward” because of the Trump administration, former President Obama warned Tuesday.

According to the Daily Mail, Obama told about 6,000 people at a trade organization event in Montreal, Canada, that his successor in the White House practices “extreme nationalism and xenophobia and the politics of ‘us-versus-them.’” He said the country is experiencing a “time of disruption,” and declared that “we’re going to have to replace fear with hope.”

The friendly audience was clearly amused when the former president joked about the Trump administration’s claim that there are “alternative facts.” Obama lamented that the situation has gotten to the point “where we don’t just have disagreements based on our opinions, but now people are just disagreeing on facts.” He explained: “We’re in an environment where we are only accepting information that fits our opinions, instead of basing our opinions on the facts that we receive; and evidence and reason and logic.”

Apparently referring to Trump’s criticism of NATO and his “America First” philosophy, Obama stressed that leaders must not “violate our principles because of fear and uncertainty.” He added that “we have to sustain our alliances; we have to help other countries with their own development.” Failing to do so encourages the rise and spread of authoritarian regimes opposed to the United States, the ex-president suggested. He cautioned that the result could be “'intolerance and tribalism and organizing ourselves along ethnic lines.”

Obama is among many Democrats, as well as some Republicans, who slammed Trump’s recent decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. Nearly 200 countries initially signed the accord, which allows individual nations to establish their own voluntary goals for reducing carbon-dioxide emissions and taking other steps to moderate the effects of climate change.

The agreement will continue without Trump, according to Obama. “Even with the temporary absence of American leadership, (it) will still give our children a fighting chance,” he predicted. “We have shown that environmental sustainability and economic progress are not contradictory, but are complementary.” The ex-president predicted that “the disruptions that are happening globally are going to continue to accelerate; and what’s more, in an age of instant information, where TV and Twitter can feed us a steady stream of bad news, and sometimes fake news, it can seem like the international order that we’ve created is being constantly tested, and that the center may not hold.”

“In some cases, that leads people to search for certainty and control, and they can call for isolationism or nationalism, or they can consider rolling back the rights of others, or simply they can try to retreat and suggest that we have no obligations beyond our borders, or beyond our communities, beyond our tribe; that what’s good for me and my immediate people is all that matters; (that) everybody else is on their own,” Obama said.

He also spoke out against Trump’s blocked executive order that would have temporarily suspended the nation’s refugee resettlement program. Obama argued that helping people who flee their war-ravaged homelands “is who we are.” He claimed that “we can do it in an orderly way (that) upholds our tradition of lawfulness.”

Source: Daily Mail
Photo: YouTube

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