Former President Obama Shows his Support for Muslim Ban Protests

For 228 years there has been an unspoken tradition amongst presidents. When you leave office and your predecessor takes your place, you keep your opinions to yourself. On Monday, January 30th, former President Barack Obama broke that unspoken rule when his spokesperson, Kevin Lewis, posted the following statement to his Twitter account:

Courtesy: Kevin Lewis

 

This statement speaks volumes when you look back to what Obama said when Donald Trump was first elected president in November. “Business Insider” quoted: "As an American citizen who cares deeply about our country, if there are issues that have less to do with the specifics of some legislative proposal but go to core questions about our values and our ideals, and if I think that it is necessary or helpful for me to defend those ideals, I'll examine it when it comes."

That moment came quicker than anyone anticipated, being only 10 days into the Trump administration when the statement was released. There has been no word yet from the Trump administration on Obama’s statement, but based on how the president has reacted in the past to the criticism he’s received, it will likely come soon.

Twitter, on the other hand, has been rampant with responses on the former president’s decision to get involved.

There has been everything from fury:

To support:

To straight up pleading:

But no matter how you feel about Obama’s statement, the significance still stands. Former president George W. Bush very rarely spoke about Obama’s administration throughout Obama’s time in office, in 2014 saying "I don't think it's good for the country to have a former president undermine a current president.” Most former presidents have taken that standpoint, and Barack Obama made his statement knowing what was expected of him.

Obama also took a moment in his statement to address a common defense of President Trump’s immigration ban; that in 2011 Obama proposed a similar ban on refugees and immigrants, and while that is not exactly the truth, Obama only felt the need to remind the American people that he, “…fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.”

The former president’s statement comes at a time of serious political unrest, where being invited to protests and marches is just as common as being asked on dinner dates. And while it remains unclear what the future of our government holds, one thing remains clear: Barack Obama refuses to take the silent route.

What does this mean? This kind of political openness from a former president so early in a new president’s administration could spark a new set of rules for the presidents who will come next. These actions could end an unspoken rule that has kept a sense of peace between the United States Presidents throughout the history of our democracy.