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Barack Obama isn’t holding back his concern about the future of America.
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.
“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.
“Sixty million people died,” Obama said. “So, you’ve got to pay attention. And vote.”
Kris Seavers is the IRL editor for the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in Central Texas publications, including Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, and on NPR.