Obama discusses civic engagement, not politics
- Author: Salvatore Jensen May 03, 2017,
May 03, 2017, 17:44
Obama's highly anticipated public appearance comes just days ahead of the symbolically significant 100-day mark for Trump -- a milestone that one Obama adviser insisted is "far from his mind".
A lot has happened since Barack Obama left the White House, so it should surprise no one that in the former president's return to the spotlight Monday, he had a lot to say. His remarks echoed previous statements in which he's hinted at focusing on community organizing efforts as a private citizen.
Former President Barack Obama addressed civic engagement for young people during his first public appearance since leaving office, but he didn't mention his successor or detail his thoughts on current events.
On stage, Obama reminisced about his path to political life, as well as his role in preparing the next generation of Americans to lead the country. Now, he gave his first public speech and it was hard to watch because he's so much more presidential than our current president who looks like a ran over orange winter boot. The panel seemed like a deliberate attempt to set the tone for Obama's role in the resistance - less as a vocal critic of President Trump, as many wish he would be, than a guiding light for the next wave of leaders to take on that task.
Mr Obama outlined his view of a divided America riddled with problems, and said he wanted to use his influence to encourage young people to tackle those issues.
During Monday's forum, Obama discussed his views and what helped shape his presidency. Obama said. The former president asked each of the six students on stage what are the things that are discouraging young people from civic engagement and what can be done about it. He spoke briefly about his experiences as a community organizer before asking the panel of young people for their views. He hit on themes familiar from his presidency and his earlier career as a community organiser in Chicago.
The Democratic politician recalled that the United States has "the lowest voting rates of any democracy, and low participation rates then translate into a further gap between who is governing us and what we believe". "They're daunting. But they're not insolvable", Obama said.
Freedman called being a Republican on a liberal college campus "sort of an honor", showing other students that their ideas about him were wrong. She said politicians don't reach out to communities anymore, instead relying on advertisements and social media. They're renting a mansion in Washington until their second daughter completes high school in 2018. Obama is also slated to appear with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin in late May and is due to accept an award in Boston prior to that.
"I want to work with them to knock down those barriers and to get this next generation to accelerate their move toward leadership because if that happens I think we're going to be just fine".