Jacksonville: Ruing that Americans are listening and quietly watching rhetoric and crazy ideas of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, President Barack Obama has said that voters have become numb and such a new normal is unacceptable.
"You hear what Trump says, and the problem is that it's been happening so frequently that we have become numb to it. We almost act like it's normal. We almost treat this like some reality TV show," Obama told his supporters at an election rally here in Florida, a key battleground State.
"You know one of those shows where they have got to bleep out every few sentences because folks are just acting crazy and saying crazy stuff, and being mean, just to manufacture some drama so you can collect more ratings. That is how we are treating this election for the most powerful office on earth, as if it's normal," he rued.
"We've become numb to it. And it's not. It's not. It's not acceptable. It's not normal. You can't make an excuse for it. You can't pretend it's not happening," he said.
"When you talk to some folks who are voting for Trump, they'll say, well, you know, he doesn't really mean it, or it's just locker room talk. They try to justify it or excuse it. Or in some cases they say, well, that's really terrible, but as long as he supports tax cuts for the wealthy, as long as he supports my agenda, I'm going to go ahead and support him anyway," he noted.
"I want to tell you about this office that I've been in, the presidency. I want you to understand. Who you are, what you are -- it doesn't change after you occupy the Oval Office. It magnifies who you are. It shines a spotlight on who you are. Because you have more authority, you can act on who you are," he said.
"So if you disrespect women before taking office, you'll disrespect women when you're in office. If you accept the support of Klan sympathisers before you're in office, you'll accept their support while in office.
"If you disrespect the Constitution when you're running for office, and you threaten to shut down the press if they say something you don't like, or if you threaten in a presidential debate to throw your opponent in jail, or you discriminate against people of different faiths, then that's what you'll do in office," Obama said.
"The reason I want everybody to focus on this is, you know, I'm a proud Democrat. We are not Democrats or Republicans first. We are children of God. We are human beings. We are Americans first. I have good Republican friends who don't act or think the way Trump does," he said.
Trump, he said, is somebody who would do damage to the
democracy, who is uniquely unqualified and shows no interest in becoming more qualified.
Obama said America has never been about what somebody from on high will do for you.
"It's not about electing a dictator or an emperor or a king. It's about what we can do together, what's achieved by us together. It's about self-government. And Hillary understands that," he stressed.
"She knows this is a big country, a diverse country. And it doesn't work if we demonise each other all the time. She knows issues aren't always black and white, and that progress requires compromise even when you're right.
"She knows that none of us are perfect, not even Presidents, but we should try to conduct ourselves with a sense of decency and propriety, and big-heartedness. Because our kids are paying attention," Obama said.