By Robert Miranda
United States President Barack Obama took all-but-direct aim at anti-Muslim rhetoric by Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump during his last address to the United States Congress. Obama called for Americans “to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion”.
Barack Obama speaking at the State of the Union, condemned anti-Muslim rhetoric saying: “It betrays who we are”.
“This isn’t a matter of political correctness – it’s a matter of understanding what makes us strong,” Obama said before the joint session of Congress. “The world respects us not just for our arsenal; it respects us for our diversity and our openness and the way we respect every faith.”
President Obama attacked Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the United States – Obama did everything but say the name of the Republican candidate during his final State of the Union address.
Obama cited Pope Francis, who addressed the United States Congress last year by reminding the body that “When politicians insult Muslims, when a mosque is vandalized…, that doesn’t make us safer,” the president said. “That’s not telling it like it is. It’s just wrong. It diminishes us in the eyes of the world. It makes it harder to achieve our goals. And it betrays who we are as a country.”
Right after Obama’s statement a prolonged and robust applause from members of the Congress on both sides of the Democratic-Republican divide ensued.
Obama continued to take a veiled slap at Trump.
“There have been those who told us to fear the future,” he said, “who claimed we could slam the brakes on change, promising to restore past glory if we just got some group or idea that was threatening America under control. And each time, we overcame those fears.”
The leading Republican candidate seeking to replace Obama, Donald Trump tweeted that Obama was peddling boredom. “The #SOTU (State of the Union) speech is really boring, slow, lethargic and very hard to watch!”
It must be made clear that the ascent of Donald Trump to the status of front-runner for the presidency of the United States is a blatant example of a much deeper problem at the heart of modern American democracy: widespread ignorance.
Trump’s success so far is in large part the result of an almost perfect storm of political ignorance in America.
Political ignorance can explain why Trump has won the support of a large share of the generally uneducated fearful conservative Americans who follow him.
Nevertheless, Trump leads the other Republican candidates seeking the presidency but be probably won’t win the election if he receives the Republican nomination for the presidency. On the other hand, the political ignorance that fueled his rise will remain. That, far more than Trump’s crude rhetoric, is the truly frightening reality revealed by this mad man.