Barack Obama in Front of American Flag

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Obama warns America of its potential to be like Nazi Germany

He recalled Germany's 20th-century fall to fascism.

 

Kris Seavers

Tech

Published Dec 7, 2017   Updated May 22, 2021, 8:40 am CDT

Barack Obama isn’t holding back his concern about the future of America.

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The former president addressed a crowd in his hometown of Chicago Tuesday, answering questions that ranged from his favorite superheroes (he likes Batman more than Superman) to U.S. foreign relations, Mic reported. He also talked about a rise in nationalist mistrust of different cultures in areas where “people didn’t (used to) challenge your assumptions,” according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

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“Nothing feels solid,” Obama told the crowd. “Sadly, there’s something in us that looks for simple answers when we’re agitated.”

Using Joseph McCarthy and President Richard Nixon as examples, Obama emphasized the importance of a free press for the country’s survival—and the dangers of complacency.

“We have to tend to this garden of democracy or else things could fall apart quickly,” he said.

He then noted Germany’s fall from Democracy to fascism and extremism in the 20th century.

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“Sixty million people died,” Obama said. “So, you’ve got to pay attention. And vote.”

His reference to Nazis was an analogy, of course—but it doesn’t seem like such a stretch in an American political climate that includes neo-Nazis, white supremacist rallies, and literal Nazi symbols.

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports there are 917 hate groups in the U.S.—a number that rose 17 percent between 2014 and 2016, ABC News reported in August.

H/T Mic

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*First Published: Dec 7, 2017, 4:41 pm CST