On Independence Day weekend, former President Barack Obama can be found in another nation’s capital, criticizing President Donald Trump and warning against “nationalism.”
The former president addressed thousands in an auditorium in Jakarta on the final leg of his 10-day vacation to Indonesia with his family. Obama spent a number of years during his childhood living in the capital of the Muslim-majority island nation.
Obama visited with the president of the country and addressed a panel during the 4th Congress of the Indonesian Diaspora. In the speech, Obama called out problems he sees with the current state of American and international affairs.
According to the Guardian:
The former US president said some countries had adopted “an aggressive kind of nationalism” and “increased resentment of minority groups,” in a speech in Indonesia on Saturday that could be seen as a commentary on the US as well as Indonesia.
“If we don’t stand up for tolerance and moderation and respect for others, if we begin to doubt ourselves and all that we have accomplished, then much of the progress that we have made will not continue,” he said.
“What we will see is more and more people arguing against democracy, we will see more and more people who are looking to restrict freedom of the press, and we’ll see more intolerance, more tribal divisions, more ethnic divisions, and religious divisions and more violence.”
Obama never mentioned Donald Trump by name, but he chose a range of topics that could be seen to apply to politics in both Indonesia and the US, including fake news powered by social media, resentment, attacks on institutions, and ignorance of other peoples.
Obama lightly hit Trump on pulling out of the Paris Agreement on climate change but reserved most of his criticism for the general political state of the world and social media. Obama said he “wasn’t worried about what was in the newspapers” on a daily basis anymore and that he was more concerned with his legacy.
Obama did comment on the political realities of radicalization occurring inside one of the world’s most populated majority Muslim countries, where Islamic radicalism is threatening the moderate population.
According to ABC News:
Indonesia has faced a rise in Islamic radicalism and anti-gay attacks, and was recently condemned by rights groups for jailing Jakarta’s former governor, an ethnic Chinese Christian, for blasphemy.
“The spirit of this country has to be one of tolerance. It’s enshrined in Indonesia’s constitution, it’s symbolized by mosques and temples and churches beside each other,” Obama said. “That spirit is one of the defining things about Indonesia. It is one of the most important characteristics to set as an example for other Muslim countries around the world.”
In contrast, Donald Trump spent his Fourth of July weekend giving a speech to the troops and tweeting videos of himself beating up CNN.
Source: Conservative Daily