If Donald Trump is elected president, the terrorists would win.
That was the implicit message President Barack Obama issued during a dramatic speech this afternoon condemning Trump’s tough anti-terror proposals after the terrorist attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida killed dozens of people.
Obama raised the alarm for voters, accusing Trump of making proposals that depart from the Constitutional values of America and the values of American citizens.
“If we ever abandon those values, we would not only make it a lot easier to radicalize people here and around the world, but we would have betrayed the very things we are trying to protect,” Obama said, citing American pluralism, civil liberties and openness. “Then the terrorists would have won and we cannot let that happen. I will not let that happen.”
Obama was visibly angry at Trump during his speech, trying to paint a picture of what an America under Donald Trump’s leadership would look like. He suggested that Trump would likely subject Muslim-Americans to special surveillance because of their faith, singling them out for discrimination.
“It makes Muslim Americans feel like their government is betraying them,” he said. “It betrays the very values America stands for.”
He challenged Republicans for failing to condemn the proposals from their nominee.
“Do Republican officials actually agree with this?” he asked. “Because that’s not the America we want. It doesn’t reflect our democratic ideals.”
Obama also warned that Trump’s proposals would give rise to a national mood that the country would come to regret — likely referring to the Japanese-American relocation camps in the United States during World War II.
“We’ve gone through moments in our history before when we acted out of fear and we came to regret it,” Obama said. “We’ve seen our government mistreat our fellow citizens and it has been a shameful part of our history.”