Martin Bureau/Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Speaking at a question and answer session with the Economic Club of Chicago on December 5, former President Barack Obama said the current state of affairs within in the U.S. — politically and culturally — is similar to the rise of Nazi Germany. He did so without mentioning current President Donald Trump.
Take that, @realDonaldTrump: @BarackObama makes clear his view that a complacent America could be headed the way of Nazi Germany. Read his remarkable comments at #EconomicClub of Chicago. @BarackObama2Day https://t.co/XD4gdhjDRr
— Greg Hinz (@GregHinz) December 6, 2017
Obama alluded to Trump's main policy of “America First” and how ignoring the rest of the world is a bad idea, according to Crain's Chicago Business: “Things don't happen internationally if we don't put our shoulder to the wheel. No other country has the experience and bandwidth and ideals ... If the U.S. doesn't do it, it's not going to happen.”
Obama then talked about how while he has had his run-ins with the press, “what I understood was the principle that the free press was vital.” Crain's Chicago Business reports:
The danger is “grow(ing) complacent,” Obama said. “We have to tend to this garden of democracy or else things could fall apart quickly.”
That's what happened in Germany in the 1930s, which despite the democracy of the Weimar Republic and centuries of high-level cultural and scientific achievements, Adolph Hitler rose to dominate, Obama noted. “Sixty million people died ... So, you've got to pay attention. And vote.”
Obama added that one of his biggest regrets from his presidency was not being able to enact stricter gun control laws, especially after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.