Former President Obama said Friday that he hopes President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s election drives more Americans to the polls.
“If you thought elections don’t matter, I hope these last two years have corrected that impression,” Obama said in a speech at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. “So if you don’t like what’s going on right now — and you shouldn’t — do not complain.”
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“Don’t hashtag, don’t get anxious, don’t retreat, don’t binge on whatever it is you’re binging on, don’t lose yourself in ironic detachment, don’t put your head in the sand, don’t boo,” he added. “Vote.”
ADVERTISEMENTSpeaking to a crowd of college students, Obama said that fewer than one in five young people voted in 2014. He argued that young voters now had the power to reshape American politics, but warned against “indifference.”
“The biggest threat to our democracy is indifference,” he said. “The biggest threat to our democracy is cynicism. Cynicism led too many people to turn away from politics and stay home on Election Day.”
OBAMA: “In the end, the threat to our democracy doesn’t just come from Donald Trump or the current batch of Republicans in Congress or too much compromise from Democrats or Russian hacking. The biggest threat to our democracy is indifference. The biggest threat is cynicism.” pic.twitter.com/5R5ck7QYpo
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 7, 2018
Much of Obama’s speech was targeted squarely at Trump, marking the first time since leaving office that the former president has gone after the president by name.