Former president Barack Obama broke his silence on Thursday, making his first public comments in months to advise his fellow Democrats to stop relying on him and start taking action.

On Thursday, the former president spoke at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser, warning Democrats that they are “right to be concerned” about the current state of America.

Obama began the speech on a heavy note, sending prayers to those affected by the recent Maryland shooting and reminding lawmakers that such tragedies are preventable given proper gun control measures.

“I am hopeful that each time one of these tragedies strikes, we remind ourselves that this is preventable,” he said. “It is not inevitable, that America is not the only nation on Earth that has people who are troubled or violent, but we are unique in the weapons that those people can deploy, and it is costly.”

From there on, Obama never explicitly referenced any current events or even used President Donald Trump’s name. He instead spoke about the state of the nation in general terms, describing the opposing views of Democrats and Republicans as “different stories,” the former based “in hope” and the latter “on fear.” He then comforted Democrats, ensuring that “The majority of the American people prefer a story of hope” and would choose to come together “rather than being divided.”

Obama also encouraged Democrats to take action in the upcoming midterm elections rather than waiting around “for the perfect message.” “Don’t wait to feel a tingle in your spine because you’re expecting politicians to be so inspiring and poetic and moving that somehow, ‘okay, I’ll get off my couch after all and go spend the 15-20 minutes it takes for me to vote,’ Because that’s part of what happened in the last election,” warned Obama.

Instead, the former president encouraged Democrats to take a page out of the Republicans’ playbook. “[Republicans] don’t worry about inspiration,” Obama said. “They worry about winning the seat and they are very systematic about work not just at the presidential level but at the congressional and state legislative levels.”

While Obama may have popped Democrats’ bubble about a potential political messiah, he still reassured his colleagues that karma would be on their side.

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“Reality has an interesting way of coming up and biting you,” asserted Obama. “And the other side has been peddling a lot of stuff that is so patently untrue that you can get away with it for a while, but at a certain point, you confront reality.”

The statement was made in reference to Trump’s persistent efforts at undermining Obamacare after failing to repeal it in Congress. 

“All we have to do is work hard on behalf of that truth. And if we do, we’ll get better outcomes.”

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