On foreign soil, Obama warns America against 'aggressive nationalism'
President Barack Obama is in Indonesia this week, revisiting the home of his childhood. He interrupted his trip down memory lane to make a speech that reminded us why so many of us considered the former president a total jerk.
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.
"It's been clear for a while that the world is at a crossroads. At an inflection point," Obama said, telling a Jakarta crowd stories of how much the capital had improved since he lived there as a child.
But he said that increased prosperity had been accompanied by new global problems, adding that as the world confronts issues ranging from inequality to terrorism, some countries – both developed and less developed – had adopted a more aggressive and isolationist stance.
"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."
Cats and dogs living together. Mass hysteria!
"My stepfather … was raised a Muslim but he respected Hindus and he respected Buddhists and he respected Christians," he said, adding: "If you are strong in your own faith then you should not be worried about someone else's faith." The line earned raucous applause.
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's criticism of "nationalists" sounds a heckuva lot like the liberal agenda, doesn't it? But then, this is a man who has always been completely oblivious to his own contradictions.
Liberals have taken to using the word "nationalism" interchangeably with "patriotism." Of course, the best known example of "nationalism" can be found in Nazi Germany. So when liberals warn against the evils of "nationalism," they are setting themselves up as heroes to battle Nazism.
Liberals have turned the simple, heartfelt feelings of love of country that many of us experience this 4th of July into something bad and evil. And Barack Obama, on foreign soil, no less, has given voice to that despicable narrative by misrepresenting and exaggerating how that patriotism translates into politics.
We should be used to this man's hectoring lectures by now, telling us how wrong we are, how racist we are, how intolerant we are as a nation. By doing that, he elevates himself to a higher moral plane than the rest of us. Quite simply, he is better than us. And he wants us all to know it.