SALT LAKE CITY — Former President Barack Obama spoke out against President Donald Trump on Friday while speaking at the University of Illinois.
Obama also condemned the politics of “fear and resentment” during his speech, which led him to become the top trending item on Twitter Friday morning.
He spoke about the importance of voting:
"Do not complain. Don't hashtag. Don't get anxious. Don't retreat. Don't binge on whatever it is you're binging on. Don't lose yourself in ironic detachment. Don't put your head in the sand. Don't boo. Vote. Vote."
“Don’t tell me your vote doesn’t matter … and if you thought elections don’t matter, I hope these last two years have corrected that impression,” Obama said.
“When you vote, you’ve got the power to make sure white nationalists don’t feel emboldened to march with their hoods on or hoods off in Charlottesville.”
“I’m here today because this is one of those pivotal moments when every one of us, as citizens of the United States, need to determine just who it is that we are, just what it is that we stand for.”
He talked about how democracy should work:
“The claim that everything will turn out OK because there are people inside the White House who secretly aren’t following the president’s orders. … That’s not how our democracy is supposed to work. …"
“What’s gonna fix our democracy is you. … The threat to our democracy doesn't just come from Donald Trump … the biggest threat to our democracy is indifference. …"
He condemned moments of Trump’s presidency and the White House.
“How hard can that be, saying that Nazis are bad?"
“It did not start with Donald Trump. He is a symptom, not the cause. He’s just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years."
"They are not doing us a service by actively promoting 90 percent of the crazy stuff that is coming out of this White House and then saying, 'Don't worry. We are preventing the other 10 percent.”
He opened up about the Republican Party:
"That's not what (Abraham Lincoln) had in mind … it's not conservative, it sure isn't normal. It's radical."
"I know there are Republicans who believe the government should only perform a few minimal functions but that one of those functions should be making sure nearly 3,000 Americans don't die in a hurricane and its aftermath."
He opened up about freedom of the press:
"It shouldn't be Democratic or Republican to say that we don't threaten the freedom of the press because they say things or publish stories we don't like."