When that happens, he says, people become cynical and decide not to participate in the political process - creating a vacuum that lobbyists and special interests fill. "In two months we have a chance to restore some sanity to our politics".
Earlier this week, an unnamed White House official penned a New York Times opinion piece, claiming the president's worst impulses were tempered by "adults in the room", who ensured he did not act to the detriment of the United States on issues such as foreign policy.
The greatest threat to American democracy, the former president said, is not Donald Trump, Republicans in Congress, the Koch brothers, too much compromise from Democrats, or Russian hacking - the biggest threat to American democracy is cynicism.
Meanwhile in a nod to the turbulence of the past week which saw allegations of a secret "resistance" working inside the White House the 57 year old Obama poured scorn on the idea that "everything will turn out okay" because some of Trump's staff are secretly ignoring the boss's orders.
Obama, reacting to the op-ed account, said, "That's not how our democracy is supposed to work".
"We're supposed to stand up to discrimination", he said.
Obama's appearance comes one day after a strongly worded critique of Trump at University of IL at Urbana-Champaign.
Tropical storm Florence expected to become hurricane
None of these storms have ever hit the USA and therefore, if Florence does strike North or SC , it would be a historic moment. Elsewhere in the tropics, officials say Tropical Storm Helene is approaching islands off the western coast of Africa.
Obama is scheduled to speak at the Anaheim Convention Center Saturday at a rally in support of seven Democratic candidates running in competitive House districts across the state.
According to Obama, voting in new surprise candidates automatically brought hope and change which would transform livelihoods of every citizen thus those who never voted for anyone were an impediment to change and development.
Republicans say voters will not find Mr Obama's argument appealing. "That unfortunately has been a spiral that we have been on for the last couple of years".
"We are Americans", he said.
The entire speech can be viewed below, live at Noon EST.
Obama stepped back into the political fray Friday, delivering a speech at the University of IL at Urbana-Champaign.
"Just a glance at recent headlines should tell you this moment really is different", Obama said.
'Monster' Hurricane Florence to pound U.S. Southeast for days
Forecasters have warned the hurricane is expected to strengthen through Tuesday evening into Wednesday, but weaken on Thursday. Officials have declared states of emergency in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
In many ways, Obama spoke beyond Trump - calling him the "symptom not the cause" of a broader crisis in American democracy - indicting the Republican Party for what he described as timidity in failing to reject the politics of conspiracy theories and resentments.
Former US president Barack Obama returned to politics with a scathing and unusually direct rebuke of his successor Donald Trump. "A fear and anger that's rooted in our past, but it's also born out of the enormous upheavals that have taken place in your brief lifetimes", he said.
His overarching message in both speeches, however, was the complaining does nothing when people don't vote. "I found he's very good for sleeping", Trump said at a campaign appearance in Fargo, North Dakota.
"Democrats need all hands on deck to take back the House, and we could not be more honored to have President Barack Obama's inspirational voice and unifying message on the campaign trail, with his first stop in Southern California", Rep.
But he said the political moment required a pushback and called for better discourse.
Obama also reminded voters that the economic recovery - one of Trump's favorite talking points - began on his watch.
Obama thundered, in reference to the revelations by investigative journalist Bob Woodward whose new book describes Trump's aides battling to rein in an angry, uninformed president that "That's not how our democracy is supposed to work". "And I'm happy he wants to do it again".
London must provide fingerprints of Skripal case suspects to Interpol - diplomat
Sergei Skripal was a granted refuge in the United Kingdom following a 2010 spy exchange between the US and Russian Federation . Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia survived nerve-agent poisoning in Britain after spending weeks in hospital.