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.

 

“You are responsible for your life:” The Best Sentence Oprah Ever Uttered

 

About a week before Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th POTUS, the trend of Black people criticizing former President Obama for not “doing enough” for Black people while he was the sitting POTUS re-emerged. When probed, the things that President Obama should have done for the Black people range from reparations to solitarily ending violence in Chicago to increasing funding for inner city schools to turning crack houses into 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom middle-class bungalows.

I won’t mention the fact that these very people will acknowledge that the government has been screwing Black people over since we arrived here so it makes no sense to think that we’d all walk away with back pay plus interest just because the person in our highest office shared a phenotype. I won’t mention the fact that it’s not the president’s job to make sure that people know that it’s unacceptable to kill random people by the time they are old enough to independently navigate society. I won’t even mention the fact that local government has a lot more to do with city policing and that citizens would be much better off taking their concerns to their mayor and councilmembers.  Though I do not agree with every move President Obama did or did not make, you’ll never hear me say that any critique I have of him is due to the fact that he didn’t “do enough” for Black people.

This post isn’t about President Obama or any other political leader, though. This post is about responsibility. Contrary to 2017 logic, personal responsibility is not about denying the social maladies that we all loathe. It is not about blaming people for the problems they face. This is not the “bootstraps” theory. This post is about taking inventory and dealing with life in consideration of reality. I am talking about a serious examination of where we are, how we got there, and how we can excel in spite of the obstacles we may face individually and as a people. I am talking about not allowing issues, be they social or otherwise, keep us in a perpetual state of misery.

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Let me back up a minute. One of the definitions of responsibility is independence in decision-making. In other words, responsibility is a kind of freedom. I’ll go further and say that I believe responsibility is a form of intelligence that must be cultivated so that we are able to exercise it in a variety of situations throughout life. With that in mind, it doesn’t matter who helps you or what assistance any governmental entity offers you; if you don’t understand that your life is your responsibility, it won’t matter.

You will eventually spend all the money and be back in poverty.

You’ll neglect the bungalow and within 5 years, it will become the distressed property it once was.

You won’t take your schooling seriously and end up just as under-educated as you were before the shiny new schools’ doors were opened.

You could be given everything you ask for or everything you think you need and still find yourself in a situation that requires a magic wand if you don’t wisely take advantage of the freedom that is implicit in responsibility.

There are things that only you can do to enrich your life and set you on the trajectory that you desire, and doing those things takes the will to do so. Waiting on the government is a waste of time. By the time the government steps in, you could have saved yourself, your family and a few others. Sometimes, we are our own worst enemy because we don’t think or act responsibly, and then we abuse ourselves further by pretending that our mistake is someone else’s to handle.

I said on my personal Facebook page Wednesday that 2017 is the year of being put on notice. I could actually say that we were all put on notice the night of November 8th of last year. We are now sitting under an administration that could be described in a number of ways; harried, unprepared, ignoble, and erratic. If there were ever a time for us to thrust ourselves headlong into the practice of personal responsibility, now would be it. We may not have a crystal ball or political prescience, but I posit that we don’t need either of those things if we are willing to be the chieftain of our own journey.