“I saw some of these trends happening during my presidency,” Obama said on Tuesday during the closing session of the American Library Association annual conference.
The former president continued:
“But to see not only a riot in the Capitol around what historically had been a routine process of certifying an election, but to know that one of our two major political parties, a strong majority of people in this party, actually believed in a falsehood about those election results, the degree to which misinformation is now disseminated at warp speed in coordinated ways that we haven’t seen before, and that the guardrails I thought were in place around many of our democratic institutions really depend on the two parties agreeing to those ground rules and that one of them right now doesn’t seem as committed to them as in previous generations, that worries me.”
“And I think we should all be worried,” he added.
Obama also accused former President Donald Trump of being “somebody who surfed” the anti-Obama sentiment “for their own advantage.”
Additionally, Obama said, “I think a central question … how do we get back to a place where all of us, as citizens, at least agree on certain baseline facts and certain core principles around how elections work? There are certain things like that, that right now, are frayed.”
The former president previously weighed in on the U.S. Capitol riot that occurred on January 6 and whether the U.S. is “still teetering” or “on the brink of a crisis.”
“We have to worry, when one of our major political parties is willing to embrace a way of thinking about our democracy that would be unrecognizable and unacceptable even five years ago or a decade ago,” he said during a CNN interview in early June.
He later added during that interview, “My hope is that the tides will turn. But that does require each of us to understand that this experiment in democracy is not self-executing. It doesn’t happen just automatically.”
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