Former President Barack Obama has been extraordinarily circumspect about his racist, authoritarian, law-breaking successor. In public, anyway. But in fundraising events for former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, Obama has said a little more about what’s going on in this country as Donald Trump does his best to drag it to hell.
Obama is very clear on what the United States faces: “The endpoint of that we saw in Europe 60 years ago, 70 years ago—what happens when those things get unleashed,” he said in one event, according to notes on his remarks. “You don’t nip that in the bud, bad things can happen. Among the most quote unquote civilized societies.”
Obama is equally clear on how this danger is being stoked, describing Trump’s base as “just glued to Fox News and Breitbart and Limbaugh and just this conservative echo chamber—and so, they’re going to turn out to vote.
“What he has unleashed and what he continues to try to tap into is the fears and anger and resentment of people who, in some cases, really are having a tough time and have seen their prospects, or communities where they left, declining. And Trump tries to tap into that and redirect in nativist, racist, sexist ways.”
As for the intersection of Trump’s racism and his disastrous incompetence, the “anti-Asian sentiment” Trump has been working to stir up with his racist references to the “kung flu,” Obama said in one such event, “still shocks and pisses me off.”
Obama has raised more than $24 million for Biden’s campaign over the past two months, as well as supporting organizing efforts with events like last week’s socially distanced video, which dramatically increased email sign-ups for the Biden campaign. Obviously if in-person campaigning were a thing, Obama would be a powerful draw, but Trump’s ongoing pandemic is likely to make that impossible for some time to come.