June 24th, 2019

earl watt mugL&T Publisher Earl Watt


There’s a reason former presidents usually stay out of the fray of their successors, and while in some cases it may be representative of their dedication to statesmanship, the real reason is there is no way they can do anything to help their party’s cause in a grand scale.

Sure, they can drum up the base by giving speeches at the presidential convention by throwing out red meat.

But presidents usually learn the lesson from being in the White House that it takes both sides to effectively operate the government, and that there are good people on both sides of the aisle.

But Barack Obama chose to break with that tradition started by George Washington last week and berate the current administration.

That’s his right. After all, presidents also have the freedom of speech.

Let’s dissect what he said to see if he was trying to unite the people or only trying to unite the people behind his vision.

He actually started with a message that could have been unifying, except he forgot that Donald Trump already said it.

Red Flag No. 1 — When a person making a speech outlines a generic problem and then makes it partisan, they are not unifying, they are dividing.

Obama said, “The status quo pushes back. Sometimes the backlash comes from people who are genuinely, if wrongly, fearful of change. More often it’s manufactured by the powerful and the privileged who want to keep us divided and keep us angry and keep us cynical because that helps them maintain the status quo and keep their power and keep their privilege.”

This is exactly what Trump said about those entrenched in government. He said he would represent those forgotten by government, like the veterans seeking health care, the jobs lost to foreign interests and the stagnant wages that plagued the country throughout Obama’s presidency.

But then Obama blamed those who fear change on Trump.

“It did not start with Donald Trump,” Obama said. “He is a symptom, not the cause.”

Red Flag No. 2 — When a person making a speech says only the other side exploits division, they are being divisive.

Obama went on to say, “And even though your generation is the most diverse in history, with a greater acceptance and celebration of our differences than ever before, those are the kinds of conditions that are ripe for exploitation by politicians who have no compunction and no shame about tapping into America’s dark history of racial and ethnic and religious division.”

To him, only white conservatives are racists, and they use society to exploit minorities. He doesn’t mention that minority wages and job participation are at an all-time high under Trump, because it is impossible for white men to care about minorities in his view. He is incapable of believing that the current rising tide is helping everyone.

Red Flag No. 3 — When they make relationship with Russia partisan, they are dividing us.

Obama said, “They’re undermining our alliances, cozying up to Russia.”

Crimea was occupied by Russia under Obama, and he did nothing. Obama told the Russians  he would “have more flexibility” with them after the 2012 election.

When Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Russia was our biggest threat, Obama said, “The Eighties called. They want their foreign policy back.”

He didn’t mention his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, met with Russia and symbolically hit the “reset button.”

Trump has bombed Syria against Russia’s wishes, he has instituted sanctions and backed out of the Iranian agreement against Russia’s wishes, and he has chided Russia for attempts to involve themselves in U.S. elections, reminding us all that, “Obama knew about this, and he did nothing.”

Red Flag No. 4 — When they offer two choices, them or something evil as the only alternative, they are dividing us.

Obama said, “They promise to fight for the little guy even as they cater to the wealthiest and the most powerful. They promise to clean up corruption and then plunder away. They start undermining norms that ensure accountability, try to change the rules to entrench their power further. And they appeal to racial nationalism that’s barely veiled, if veiled at all.”

Those that are entrenched are the government elites, those that never experienced the economic downturn because they are insulated as employees of the state.

He didn’t mention that the deep state are the ones who want to keep the system the same. 

Trump was elected as a change agent, someone wanting to come in and restore confidence in a government that won while the people lost. He wanted to drain the swamp.

Obama talks about change, but he is trying to protect the institutions of government not by placing power in the hands of the people, but by encouraging the young to vote for those who will defend government bureaucrats.

During the Great Recession Obama always likes to mention, he never shares that government employees never lost their insurance, never took a pay cut, didn’t see deductions to their retirement contributions, and didn’t lose their jobs.

All the while the private sector took it on the chin.

And under Obama, the wealth gap widened, with the wealthiest getting wealthier while the poor got poorer.

He mentions more people being insured with Obamacare, but he fails to mention that the coverage was horrible, that deductibles skyrocketed, and that most people were reduced to catastrophic care, or that men were paying to be covered for hysterectomies. But they were covered.

Why is he sharing this message with young people at college campuses? Because they won’t remember his real record and how he used entrenched government operatives rather than the democratic process to further his agenda.

Speeches are nice. They can be very persuasive.

But they can also be very deceptive, and we have a responsibility to listen with a critical ear.

When they only offer two choices and try to define both, they are trying to fool you. Listen to both sides to hear both plans, and pick the one you support the most. Don’t buy the divisiveness.

Pick your language/Elige su idioma

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