This week, several publications reported on statements that former President Barack Obama made at a private dinner geared towards Liberals who were rich enough to attend (ok, I added that last part). Here’s what he said to the donors at the Democracy Alliance gathering:
“This is still a country that is less revolutionary than it is interested in improvement,” he said at the annual meeting of the Democracy Alliance. “The average American doesn’t think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it.”
Of course, liberals (particularly of the SJW type), jumped all over that comment and Obama in general. They viewed it as weak and proof (retroactive, of course) that Obama was and is every bit the “puppet” that they claim all politicians are. These people swear fo’ gawd that they indeed want to tear the system down, and some even assert that this is proof that Obama is really more of a less right-leaning Republican.
Well, this will probably get me #cancelled but I actually agree with Obama. Why? Let’s look at what he said. He said this is still a country that is less revolutionary than it is interested in improvement. I see no lie. If America were interested in revolution, it’d have already happened by now.
The dictionary defines “revolution” as the forcible overthrow of the government. By that definition, Black folks alone would have burned this place to the ground long before any of us were born and if not, they’d (we’d) have done it by now.
Even in the midst of the severe income inequality that everyone claims to be pissed about, the most physical demonstration of that anger was Occupy Wall St. where a bunch of mostly white kids agreed to sit on the sidewalk in NY’s financial district holding signs, chanting, playing lutes, and not showering. And if I had to guess, because of white privilege, most of those kids are just fine now and their participation is now something they can tell their children and grandchildren they did to seem cool.
Obama went further to advise current candidates to watch the policies they are pushing. He verbalized immigration as one of these policy hot buttons. For example, Julian Castro, once an Obama official, has proposed decriminalizing illegal entry (which I find funny because as much as progressives tout the more liberal policies of other countries, they forget that most countries view illegal entry as a crime and will send you back…but anywho…).
But here’s the best part of what Obama said:
“Voters, including Democrats, are not driven by the same views that are reflected on certain left-leaning Twitter feeds, or the activist wing of our party,” he said. “And that’s not a criticism to the activist wing. Their job is to poke and prod and text and inspire and motivate. But the candidate’s job, whoever that ends up being, is to get elected.”
I think that last line is the closer. My personal opinion is that to be successful in politics, you have to find the public sweet spot. Many of the people criticizing Obama forget that he won two presidential elections and in his other political positions, he only lost once. It’s obvious that his statements at this dinner, along with statements he made back in October about cancel culture, are really his advice against trying to run on unsustainable or sensational platforms. I’ve said before that a candidate who has never held a position can promise the moon and stars but when they get in the office and see what’s what, they may realize that what they promised is not feasible.
Voters like myself are not listening for buzzwords and looking for shiny objects and moving parts. We want to hear realistic and actionable platforms that make sense and don’t sound like something picked up from watching a Barney marathon while high on LSD.
A lot of progressives want to see a cabbage soup diet platform but since the consensus seems to be just defeating Trump (or in his absence the GOP challenger), that strategy where you treat the constituents like 6 year-olds let loose in the Lego Store, is not going to work.
I do believe that people have high expectations for the 2020 campaign season and election, but the Dems (should have) learned in 2016 that the opposing candidate being an unqualified buffoon is not enough to win. So I think it’s worth paying attention to Obama’s advice.