Barack Obama has said politicians alienate people when they use "snappy" slogans such as "defund the police". The former president emphasised that people who make these statements are less likely change the situation for the better.
"The key is deciding, do you want to actually get something done, or do you want to feel good among the people you already agree with? You lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you're actually going to get the changes you want done", Obama told Peter Hamby, the host of the show "Good Luck America" on Snapchat.
The 44th president is among the few high-profile Democrats opposed to the idea of defunding the police, that is reducing the budgets of police departments and funding social services instead.
The slogan was frequently used during massive protests against racism and police brutality held across the United States in the summer following the killing of George Floyd, an African American man, who died at the hands of a white police officer. Protesters repeatedly called on authorities to defund the police and some activists said they intend to press Joe Biden, who is the projected winner of the 2020 presidential election, on the issue.
Many Democrats, including Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Ilhan Omar, supported the idea and some officials like Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley have introduced a bill to that effect. President Trump and Republicans have strongly opposed the idea.
During the interview Obama also spoke about the problems the Democratic Party is facing, saying that there is a need to elevate young people in politics.
"One thing I will say about the Democratic Party is that promoting young people is really important. And I think that there have been times where we stick so long with the same old folks and don't make room for new voices", Obama said.
The politician additionally touched on the 2020 presidential election and tried to explain why so many young black men voted for Donald Trump. Obama said that the young are generally more susceptible to public figures, who "act tough" and try to project a "stereotypical macho style".
"I don't think Black men are immune to that any more than white or Hispanic men are", the former president said.