President Barack Obama never mentioned Donald Trump in his virtual Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020 commencement speech tonight, but it was clear to everyone in coronavirus lockdown and elsewhere that he was throwing shade and throwing down the gauntlet to his successor – for the second time in less than 12 hours.
“Doing what feels good, what’s convenient, what’s easy, that’s how little kids think, Obama told a multi-network and multi-digital platform audience of millions of high school seniors who won’t have an in-person graduation this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Unfortunately, a lot of so-called grownups with fancy titles and important jobs still think that way,” the former POTUS added in this time of economic near collapse and “mass uncertainty” because of the public health crisis.
“That’s why things are so screwed up,” Obama said, noting the flailing response and financial free fall to the fatal virus “pulled back the curtain” and has “laid bare a lot of our country’s deep-seated problems. In another comment that sounded like a jab at the notoriously self-absorbed Trump, Obama went on to point out that in his view “our society and our democracy only work when we think not just about ourselves, but about each other.”
“It’s woken a lot of young people up to the fact that the old ways of doing things, just don’t work,” the former leader of the free world stated of the consequences of coronavirus before taking another swing at the unmentioned Trump for not only not having “all the answers” but “not even asking the right questions.”
Even as many states begin to reopen from shelter-in-place orders, COVID-19 has claimed over 90,000 American lives in the past few months. As the Trump administration has stumbled repeatedly and now is pointing fingers at the Obama administration for alleged empty stockpiles, there have been more than 1.5 million confirmed cases of the respiratory disease around the country so far – with worries another deadly wave could come later this year.