Republican candidate Donald Trump managed to attract a lot of negative impressions lately, after making various statements about Muslims living in the U.S. and claiming that they should be forbidden from entering the country. As expected, President Barack Obama also reacted to this, but in a very elegant way.
Americans should stay loyal to their ideals
According to Politico, during a speech on Capitol Hill, the President said that if they fail to “push back against bigotry in all its forms”, Americans betray their past and ideals, making a subtle but forceful reference to Mr. Trump.
President Obama‘s speech was an official commemoration of the Constitutional amendment that ended slavery. Still, it came great in the current context of various debates over the discrimination discourse promoted by Donald Trump and his call to block Muslims from entering the U.S.
“Remember that our freedom is bound up with the freedom of others, regardless of what they look like or where they come from or what their last name,” President Obama said, adding, in a lower tone, “or what faith they practice.”
Trump wasn’t mentioned, not even once
The interesting part is that during the whole speech, Barack Obama didn’t mention Donald Trump or any presidential candidate, nor a specific event that happened recently or in the past. Of course, it was obvious whom his statements were aimed to, as the Democrats from the audience gave him a standing ovation.
“I’m not going to wave you off consideration of the idea that that message stands in quite stark contrast to the rhetoric that we hear from a variety of Republican candidates for president,” said Josh Earnest, the White House Press Secretary. “So I think it’s appropriate for you to notice the difference in those messages, but I would contest the notion that this is something that the president newly inserted into his remarks to respond to one individual.”
Moving on, President Obama also quoted an address to the Congress made by Abraham Lincoln in 1862, making the case that giving freedom to the slave assured freedom for all. He also asked the current generation to be “honorable, alike, in what we give and what we preserve – to nobly save or meanly lose the last best hope of Earth.”
A very different approach, compared to last Sunday’s discourse
The speech was in a very obvious contrast to the one on Sunday night, from the Oval Office, where he addressed the nation about the fight against terrorism. The Obama administration recently tried to counter calls from both Republican and Democrats to limit the ranks of refugees fleeing terrorism in Syria, according to Politico. As everybody know, it become way more difficult after the San Bernardino shootings, after a Muslim couple killed 14 people, in the name of ISIS.
Finally, President Obama mentioned that the citizens of the United States should not fear Muslims, out of respect from the American values and out of concern for national security, since ISIS is known for using anti-Muslim rhetoric to attract new adepts.