Barack Obama approached Donald Trump in an interview published Monday in which he said the president was a "richie rich" type and far removed from the traditional ideal of American masculinity – like John Wayne or Clint Eastwood, he noted.
“I think of the classic male hero in American culture when you and I were growing up: John Wayne, Gary Coopers, Jimmy Stewarts, Clint Eastwoods. There was a code, "Obama told The Atlantic," the code of masculinity that I grew up with, dating back to the 1930s and 40s and before.
The former president said he thought if a "right-wing populist" rose to the presidency he thought it would be someone "more appealing" than Trump.
“I'm not surprised that someone like Trump could gain a foothold in our political life. It's both a symptom and an accelerator, "Obama said, adding," But if we had a right-wing populist in this country, I would have expected someone a little more engaging. "
"There is an idea that a man stays true to his word, that he takes responsibility, that he does not complain that he is not a tyrant – in fact he defends the vulnerable against bullies," Trump's predecessor said of American masculinity.
Barack Obama hit Donald Trump on Monday, calling the president a real Richie Rich who complains, lies and takes no responsibility
Obama said Trump is a far cry from the idol of American masculinity, which he claims is more like the John Wayne (left) and Clint Eastwood (right) guys played in movies
Richie Rich, on the other hand, is a character (portrayed here by Macaulay Culkin in 1994) who was the richest kid in the world and got everything he wanted
"And even if you're someone who resents vigilance and political correctness and wants men to be men again and tired of everyone complaining about patriarchy, I thought the model wouldn't be Richie Rich – complaining, lying, takes no responsibility for anything, "said Obama.
Richie Rich was a cartoon character created in the 1950s who was the richest child in the world. He got everything he could ask for – and was known as "the poor little rich boy". The comics were made into a TV cartoon and finally adapted into a film with Macaulay Culkin in the 1990s.
Obama says Trump is richer than John Wayne.
The former Democratic president said in his interview with The Atlantic: "I didn't believe how easily the Republican establishment would give in to people who had been in Washington for a long time and adhered to certain institutional values and norms." Trumpian populism.
However, he added that populist change in the Republican Party really caught on in the 2008 election, when he and Joe Biden ran a successful campaign against John McCain and Sarah Palin.
"The power of Palin's rallies compared to McCain's rallies – just contrast the excitement you would see in the Republican grassroots," noted Obama. "I think this indicated the extent to which appeals to identity politics, nativism and conspiracies have become more prominent."
Obama and former First Lady Michelle became much more open as the 2020 elections drew near, and since the results came back and predicted Biden as the winner over Trump, they have stepped up their attacks on the sitting president.
Trump has still refused to allow Biden. He insists that he is the real election winner and claims his lawsuits in several swing states will prove it in the coming weeks.
Two weekends ago, Biden declared victory after multiple media outlets named him the winner when enough states forecast him to win their votes on the electoral college – which put him above the 270-vote threshold required to win the White House.
Since election day, Trump has spent his weekends at his Sterling, Virginia golf club as he continues to refuse to admit Joe Biden, claiming he is the rightful election winner
Obama claims that the right-wing populist movement has gained a lot more appeal because of social media. He suggested she should be treated like a digital media company rather than a third party broker of Open Speak.
"I'm not completely blaming tech companies because this is older than social media," Obama said. "It was already there."
"But social media got it charged," he added. “I know most of these people. I talked to them about it. The extent to which these companies insist that they look more like a telephone company than the Atlantic I don't think is tenable. They make editorial decisions regardless of whether they buried them in algorithms or not. The first change does not require private companies to provide a platform for a view that is there. & # 39;
“If we are unable to distinguish between what is true and what is false, the marketplace of ideas, by definition, does not work. And by definition, our democracy doesn't work. We get into an epistemological crisis. & # 39;
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