Barack Obama Issues Urgent Call To Defend Democracy Against Threats

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In remarks delivered this week at an event put on by The Atlantic, former President Barack Obama laid out the urgency and existential stakes behind the fight for democracy. One of the most acute, domestic threats to the democratic process is no doubt posed by the Republicans who’ve gone against democracy for the sake of propping up Trump and his lies; there’s never been any real-world evidence of widespread fraud, but they’re still at it anyway. What those on Trump’s side wanted to do amounts to overturning the outcome of the democratic process and placing a leader in power on the strength of authoritarianism rather than the people’s choice. But it goes on from there: the brutal, ongoing assault by Russia on Ukraine threatens the lives and freedom of the people there. The deadly blend of authoritarianism and a deranged, reality-disconnected sense of nationalism above democracy — alongside whatever else — fueling Putin’s regime looms over what those pushing for freedom achieve.

In a Twitter caption for a clip of his remarks, Obama said that it’s “going to take all of us to protect our democracy, especially young people. There is no silver bullet, but if we focus on ideas and solutions that will strengthen our democracy, rather than weaken it, we can live up to our ideals and show the world what is possible.” In the video, he said:

‘The reason that it’s important for us to get this right… this is an international trend. And the one thing I’m here to report on about America is, for all the times we didn’t live up to our ideals, for all the times that we’ve made mistakes on the international stage, or been hypocritical in terms of how we applied our faith in democracy — if we get democracy right, democracy is stronger around the globe. And when we don’t get it right, or we don’t look like we care about it, others fill that gap.’

Watch below:

It is not a given that the U.S. would get the current situation involving the violence in Ukraine right. Recently, former President Donald Trump claimed at a rally that, when in office, he told a fellow world leader involved in NATO that the U.S. wouldn’t honor its treaty obligations associated with the alliance to protect a member country if that country was attacked by Russia but had unpaid “bills.” The notion that NATO members are living large without paying their “bills” misrepresents the facts — but more relevantly, Russian leadership would no doubt love to hear of the possibility of the U.S. abandoning its allies. Trump has all-but-formally stated he’ll run again, it seems, and he could win. His hold on the GOP remains in place.