On his way out the door, President Obama is embracing his street organizer roots and encouraging protesters against Donald Trump’s presidency to not be silent.
Speaking to reporters in Berlin, Obama said, “One of the great things about our democracy is it expresses itself in all sorts of ways. And that includes people protesting.
— CNN (@CNN) November 17, 2016
“I’ve been the subject of protests during the course of my eight years. And I suspect that there’s not a president in our history that at some point hasn’t been subject to these protests.
“So I would not advise people would feel strongly or are concerned about some of the issues that have been raised during the course of the campaign, I wouldn’t advise them to be silent. What I would advise, what I advised before the election and what I will continue to advise after the election is that elections matter.”
He continued, “Voting matters. Organizing matters. Being informed on the issues matter. And what I consistently say to young people, I say it in the United States, but I’ll say it here in Germany and across Europe, do not take for granted our systems of government and our way of live.
“I think there is a tendency because we have lived in an era that has been largely stable and peaceful, at least in advanced countries, where living standards have generally gone up, there is a tendency, I think, to assume that that’s always the case. And it’s not,” Obama said.
“Democracy is hard work. In the United States if 43% of eligible voters do not vote, then democracy is weakened.”
He went on to lament the information available to Americans on social media, appearing to echo Google’s and Facebook’s concerns about so-called fake news.