Let's put this out there straight off the bat – President Barack Obama was one of the finest, most dignified Presidents that the United States has ever had. To say
that what he stood for was diametrically opposed to the what the current occupier of the Oval Office stands for is an understatement of over-sized proportions.
Obama was articulate, well-read, erudite and a force for unity. Trump is, well, none of those and never will be. Of course, Obama was the country’s first black President and in that respect, broke the cast of prior Presidential norms.
Add to that how he rescued the economy after the Great Crash of 2008 (after years of Republican economic mismanagement – yet again), took out Bin Laden and
worked tirelessly for better international understanding and alliances with trusted friends and allies, and his legacy will continue to shine for years to come.
However, and undoubtedly Obama would agree (as opposed to Trump who would just sulk and tweet), even the loftiest figures in politics and history are never
immune to reproach. That’s why Obama’s recent comments about the Democratic party moving “too far to the left” and that some Democrats, Independents and even moderate Republicans are “rooted in reality”, needs to be examined.
What Obama went on to state that most Americans want “improvement and not revolution.”
The key to where Obama is actually getting this wrong is the use of the word reality. The crushing reality for millions and millions of Americans at present is a far cry from the steady-as-she-goes centrism being advocated by the likes of Obama’s former vice-President Joe Biden.
Reality for too many consists of eye-squinting daily wage inequality and struggle; a lack of quality healthcare
based on need and not wealth; overwhelming student and consumer debt; poverty and the delights of the free-market’s latest neo-slave wage manifestation
-the gig economy.
The irony here is that there is a good argument to be made for Obama’s victory in 2008 leading us over the Trump cliff in 2016. The hatred displayed by sizeable
chunks of the GOP to America’s first black President was at times near overpowering – from the place of his birth through to Obama’s tan suit being grounds for right-wing tv news shows and pundits to tear him apart for weeks and months afterwards for not being “Presidential”.
The GOP effectively declared war on Obama for his second term. Mitch McConnell vowed to oppose Obama on literally everything (simply because it came from Obama – nothing else) irrespective of whether or not it was good for the country and good for the American people.
Of course, underscoring that animosity to Obama was (and still is) the lingering suspicion that this was always about race. The visceral contempt of too many white people, often to be found within the ranks of the GOP, that a black man had the audacity to rise to the highest office in the land. The rancid “birther movement”, headed up by, who else but Donald Trump, tried endlessly to
discredit and delegitimize Obama as President.
Former President Obama would then do well to reflect on the de facto war that GOP launched on him and the Democrats and how that war spawned the nauseating catastrophe of a racist, clownish reality TV show host now in the Oval Office. He would also do well to ponder on the real reality of life for millions of his fellow American citizens.
As we know, the solution to America’s many current
problems are long-standing, deep-rooted and simply won’t be solved by centrist well-meaning collaboration with the array of dark and corporate money that
currently holds the GOP in such a vice-like grip.
Simply oscillating in a binary-pendulum two-party system has badly failed the American people. And one of
the main reasons for that? The GOP forever broke that flimsy, unfit for purpose supposed consensus binary model when a non-white President came to be.
There is another reality for us to have to confront – that the GOP is now a front for racists, neo-Confederates and out and out conspiracy theorists.
The great work of Obama while in office is indisputable.
However, his warnings about the Democrats moving “too far to the left” are simply out of tune with the reality of
politics of 2020. Real change is what is required. It's time to DECLARE WAR so every American can receive universal basic income. THAT is the new reality.