Former president in Indonesia says ‘pluralism and tolerance’ can defeat ‘nationalism’ and ‘climate change’
By Kathryn Blackhurst; LifeZette:
Former President Barack Obama took the opportunity during his most recent holiday excursion Saturday to comment once again on his successor’s first five months in office, lamenting what he called the “temporary absence of American leadership” under President Donald Trump.
While taking a break during his Indonesian vacation to deliver an address at the opening of the Fourth Congress of the Indonesian Diaspora in Jakarta, Obama touted his administration’s legacy of combating climate change. The former president made an oblique reference to Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.
“In Paris, we came together around the most ambitious agreement in history to fight climate change,” Obama said, according to Bloomberg Politics, adding that the Paris accord had been “an agreement that even with the temporary absence of American leadership will still give our children a fighting chance.”
“The challenges of our times, whether it’s economic inequality, changing climate, terrorism, mass migration … these are really challenges, and we’re going to have to confront them together,” Obama continued.
Obama has waded back into the political spotlight several times already during the first few months of the Trump administration. Rather than graciously afford his successor the space that former President George W. Bush gave him, Obama hasn’t hesitated to comment on Trump’s policies and rebuke him for marked breaks with Obama’s own policies.
“The world is more prosperous than ever before, but this has also brought significant changes that are dangerous,” Obama said. “We start seeing a rise in sectarian politics, we start seeing a rise in an aggressive kind of nationalism, we start seeing both in developed and developing countries an increased resentment about minority groups and the bad treatment of people who don’t look like us or practice the same faith as us.”
“We start seeing discrimination against people based on race or ethnicity or religion,” he said.
The solution to the problems of “nationalism” and “discrimination” and “the changing climate,”Obama said, can be found in sharing the common values of “pluralism and tolerance and openness and rule of law.”
The former president issued his implicit condemnation of the Trump administration during the latest of several luxurious vacations he has taken since leaving office on Jan. 20.
In 2017 alone,F ox New reported. Obama has vacationed on the former private island of the late actor Marlon Brando, has stayed at the $2,000-per-night Four Seasons hotel in Bali, spent time at a Palm Springs estate, visited Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island, stayed on Hollywood producer David Geffen’s private yacht, spent time at the 13th century Borgo Finocchieto in Tuscany, and stayed at the elite Mid Pacific Country Club in Oahu.
“These are some of the most luxurious travel destinations in the world. Many of our clients spend tens of thousands of dollars or more to stay at these resorts, which cater to the most discriminating and demanding guests,” travel expert Kendra Thornton, owner of the Royal Travel agency, told Fox News. “For example, Necker Island has a nightly price tag of $80,000. Anyone who stays at these properties does so because they want the best of the best.”
Democratic strategist Pat Caddell told Fox News that Obama’s trips “are like the lifestyles of the rich and famous” and have irked the “Bernie Sanders wing of the party.”
“Obama is not as wealthy or as conservative as Trump, George W. Bush, or George H.W. Bush, but he enjoys what used to be called ‘the lifestyle of the rich and famous,'” Dr. David Michael Smith of the Houston Socialist Movement told Fox News. “I am not surprised by Obama’s several recent foreign vacations. As president, he disappointed millions of supporters who hoped he would be a strong advocate for working-class people.”
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