Cabbage Soup Diet & Politics: I Agree With Obama

 

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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.

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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.

Some revolution!

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…).

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

Can We NOT? Rules For Election 2020

We’re about a year out from the 2020 presidential election. Having lived through the 2016 election and the myriad e-slap fights between the people who voted for Bernie Sanders or abstained and the Hillary supporters, I feel like it’s not too early to express my desires for next year’s campaign and election cycle. 

I was hoping to wait until the Democrats had decided on a sole candidate but something deep inside me feels that we need to address this now and probably have a couple of review sessions in 2020. With that said, I present to you the top 3 things that I DO NOT want to witness during the 2020 campaign season.

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  1. Using living or dead ancestors to berate people who have decided to abstain or vote for the candidate you don’t personally care for.

Listen. We ALL know that our foreparents fought wars, died, starved, bled, etc. for our right to vote. African-Americans especially know because some of those people who went through all of white people’s bullshit to gain basic rights are still alive and kicking and have told us the stories. There’s really no need to finger-wag adults and try to use the fact that our grandparents had to sit at the back of the bus to guilt someone into voting. 

Although we may not agree with someone’s decision to not vote, it is THEIR decision, just like it’s OUR decision to exercise our vote. We can bust out 9837573 reasons to vote, and they can likely bust out the same number of reasons to abstain. And even if they cannot, it remains their option. 

And just to be petty for a minute, we do a whole lot of shit that our ancestors would frown upon but we’re grown people who deserve to have our agency respected regardless. It’s okay to be not okay with people abstaining. It’s not okay to be not okay with people exercising their choice.

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  1. Arguing with people about what they SHOULD care about when selecting their choice of candidate.

Just because you think free universal pre-k and all-genitals welcome restrooms is important doesn’t mean that everyone else does.

Trust that people can prioritize their concerns just like you did. I’ll be open and say that I don’t plan on voting for anybody who is too far left or too far right. I think that because of the climate on social media, there are candidates who are publicly applauding shit they don’t actually support (which is a huge part of politics, I get it). 

Those candidates may not get my vote. 

On top of that, arguing with someone about what should be important to them seems like more of a waste of time than contacting PayPal customer service. You can argue with me until you’re blue in the face, I don’t give a fuck about you wanting to smoke weed legally. While I think it’s stupid that weed is considered a Schedule I drug and it’s wasteful that people are doing major time for it, I don’t require a promise of legalization of it from a candidate to support him/her. 

In short, you chose your hot buttons; let others choose theirs. 

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  1. (If your chosen candidate doesn’t win) Arguing why it’s everybody else’s fault for not voting for your candidate of choice.

We saw a lot of this after Hillary lost to Donald Trump for several months after he was inaugurated. 

Hillary supporters blamed Sanders supporters for either not voting for Hillary, voting for Trump as punishment, or abstaining altogether. 

It was one of the most entertaining displays of crying over spilled milk I’d ever seen. 

But it didn’t change the outcome and here we are, three years later. 

I have no issue if you want to be known for your advocacy of a certain candidate or like to engage in intellectual chow-chow with your friends (or foes) about political strategy. But, the hostile back-and-forth with the opposing teams after the race has been decided? Let’s not. 

I understand that politics is a hot topic but if the 2016 outcome taught me anything, it’s that some of you need a triple latte, a colonic, and a reality check – severely.

Let’s try to be and do better this time around regardless of what party with which you affiliate yourself.