That’s the sort of question everyone should be asking him, especially when he makes speeches and questions the “rise in strongman politics.”
A day after Mr. Trump met with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, Mr. Obama delivered his highest-profile speech since leaving office, at an event in South Africa marking the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth.
“Look around,” he said. “Strongman politics are ascendant suddenly, whereby elections and some pretense of democracy are maintained, the form of it, but those in power seek to undermine every institution or norm that gives democracy meaning.”
Mr. Obama opened his nearly 90-minute speech with a nod to current events, saying that times were “strange and uncertain” and that “each day’s news cycle is bringing more head-spinning and disturbing headlines.” He said that leaders embracing the “politics of fear, resentment, and retrenchment” were undermining the international system established after World War II.
“That kind of politics is now on the move,” Mr. Obama told a crowd of thousands at a stadium in Johannesburg. “It’s on a move at a pace that would have seemed unimaginable just a few years ago. I’m not being alarmist; I’m simply stating the facts.”
Well, Obama here’s a little fact for you. Strong men eventually rise to power organically. To maintain peace, something never achieved while the Hawaiian-Kenyan was in office, the strong men must walk softly and carry a big stick. We are seeing that play out regardless of what the headlines are screaming on any given day.
Mr. Obama seemed to take direct aim at Mr. Trump over his administration’s policies and his propensity for exaggerations and falsehoods. He said he was stunned how the notion of objective truth was now up for debate and how politicians make up facts and stand by baseless claims even after they are proved wrong.
“We see the utter loss of shame among political leaders, where they’re caught in a lie and they just double down and lie some more,” he said. “Look, let me say: Politicians have always lied, but it used to be that if you caught them lying, they’d be like, ‘Ah, man.’”
“If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” Yes, we remember.
Honestly, the Obama years got us into some of the messes Trump is cleaning up. For Obama to come out and criticize his efforts is chutzpah at its most basic meaning.