Johannesburg — Without ever mentioning President Donald Trump by name, former US President Barack Obama on Tuesday took aim at "strongman politics" in his highest-profile speech since leaving office, urging people around the world to respect human rights and other values now under threat in an impassioned address marking the 100th anniversary of anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela's birth.
Obama's speech to a cheering crowd of thousands in Johannesburg countered many of Trump's policies, rallying people around the world to keep alive the ideas that Mandela worked for including democracy, diversity and tolerance.
Obama opened by calling today's times "strange and uncertain," adding that "each day's news cycle is bringing more head-spinning and disturbing headlines." These days "we see much of the world threatening to return to a more dangerous, more brutal, way of doing business," he said.
He targeted politicians pushing "politics of fear, resentment, retrenchment," saying they are on the move "at a pace unimaginable just a few years ago."
He attacked "strongman politics," saying that "those in power seek to undermine every institution ... that gives democracy meaning."