Miracles do happen. The former Democratic Party President Barack Obama is hitting the campaign trail to get US citizens to get out the vote.
He started with his first speech in Illinois, asking whatever happened to the Republican Party? It used to be the party that was fiscally conservative, that fought raising the US deficit, that stood against totalitarian regimes like Russia. This was the party that championed free trade. This party is unrecognizable today as ever having espoused strongly these principles.
President Obama did not refer to the republican President Donald Trump by name, as he is the symptom, not the cause of today’s Republican Party. For a wave election, it’s important to highlight those republicans who have been failing in their oversight duties as they continue to support this president with his dysfunctional governing style. This is what voters have the power to change.
Welcome Back, President Obama!
Here’s the rest of the story…
On September 7, 2018, Dylan Scott of VOX penned the following report, The 7 most “important moments in Obama’s blistering critique of Trump and the GOP” )“It did not start with Donald Trump.”)
“Barack Obama stepped back into the fray on Friday (9/7/18) with a ferocious speech aimed squarely at not only his successor in the White House but the entire Republican Party.”
“The ex-president uttered the name “Donald Trump” for the first time in public since Trump’s inauguration in his speech at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Obama chastised a politics of fear and resentment, but argued that Trump himself was “a symptom, not the cause.”
“It did not start with Donald Trump,” he said. “He’s just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years, a fear and anger that’s rooted in our past, but it’s also born out of the enormous upheavals that have taken place in your brief lifetimes.”
“The speech reintroduced the president to American voters just before he begins campaigning earnestly for Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterms. Obama sought to portray the November elections as an opportunity to regain “some semblance of sanity to our politics.” He even spoke positively of emerging progressive policies, like Medicare-for-all, that he could not have endorsed in his more center-left administration.”
“But more than anything, Obama abandoned the posture he’s cultivated over the past 18 months as an elder statesman who largely stays out of the ruckus and refrains from directly criticizing Trump or Republicans in Congress. In doing so, he seemed to hope to convey a sense of urgency, arguing that the republic is at a crossroads and it will require a mobilized body politic to change direction.”
“This is not normal. These are extraordinary times, and they’re dangerous times,” Obama said. “But here’s the good news. In two months we have the chance, not the certainty, but the chance to restore some semblance of sanity to our politics.”
“Here are seven key moments from the speech:”
“Demagogues promise simple fixes to complex problems”
Obama criticized Trump and Republicans more directly than he ordinarily would, but he still placed the current politics of resentment — the coded racial language, the dehumanizing of The Other, and the fear-mongering in what is actually the safest time in recent history to live in America — in a grander historical context.
“America’s dark history of racial and ethnic and religious division,” Obama said, is a tale “as old as time.” And he heavily implied that Trump follows in those demagogic footsteps:
“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. Appealing to tribe, appealing to fear, pitting one group against another, telling people that order and security will be restored if it weren’t for those who don’t look like us or don’t sound like us or don’t pray like we do, that’s an old playbook.”
“It’s as old as time. And in a healthy democracy, it doesn’t work. Our antibodies kick in, and people of goodwill from across the political spectrum call out the bigots and the fear mongers and work to compromise and get things done and promote the better angels of our nature. But when there’s a vacuum in our democracy, when we don’t vote, when we take our basic rights and freedoms for granted, when we turn away and stop paying attention and stop engaging and stop believing and look for the newest diversion, the electronic versions of bread and circuses, then other voices fill the void.”
“A politics of fear and resentment and retrenchment takes hold and demagogues promise simple fixes to complex problems. No promise to fight for the little guy, even as they cater to the wealthiest and most powerful. No promise to clean up corruption and then plunder away. They start undermining norms that ensure accountability and try to change the rules to entrench their power further. They appeal to racial nationalism that’s barely veiled, if veiled at all. Sound familiar?”
“What happened to the Republican Party?”
“Obama’s rise to the presidency began, in earnest, with his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech professing his belief that there was not a Red America or a Blue America — that there is more that unites Americans than divides them. He has therefore been reluctant throughout his career to paint too broadly in his critiques of his political opponents.”
“But on Friday, he asked very bluntly: “What happened to the Republican Party?”
Republicans passed a tax bill that exploded the deficit by $1.5 trillion, Obama noted. Anti-communism used to be the rallying cry of the conservative, pro-capitalism movement in America and yet now they seem perfectly comfortable with the leftover Soviet spy running Russia. Or they’re at least willing to ignore Trump’s comfort with him.”
“With Republicans in control of Congress and the White House, without any checks or balances whatsoever, they’ve provided another $1.5 trillion in tax cuts to people like me who I promise don’t need it and don’t even pretend to pay for them. It’s supposed to be the party supposedly of fiscal conservatism. Suddenly deficits do not matter. Even though just two years ago when the deficit was lower, they said I couldn’t afford to help working families or seniors on Medicare because the deficit was in existential crisis. What changed? What changed?”
“They’re subsidizing corporate they’ve made it so that the only nation on Earth to pull out of the global climate agreement, it’s not North Korea, it’s not Syria, it’s not Russia or Saudi Arabia, it’s us. The only country. There are a lot of countries in the world. We’re the only ones. They’re undermining our alliances, cozying up to Russia. What happened to the Republican party? Its central organizing principle in foreign policy was the fight against communism, and now they’re cozying up to the former head of the KGB.”
“Actively blocking legislation that would defend our elections from Russian attack. What happened? Their sabotage of the affordable care act has already cost more than 3 million Americans their health insurance, and if they’re still in power next fall, you better believe they’re coming at it again. They’ve said so. In a healthy democracy, there’s some checks and balances on this kind of behavior, this kind of inconsistency, but right now there’s nothing. Republicans who know better in congress, and they’re there, they’re quoted saying, yeah, we know this is kind of crazy, are still bending over backwards to shield this behavior from scrutiny or accountability or consequence.”
“That’s not how our democracy’s supposed to work”
“Obama didn’t name the recent New York Times op-ed by an anonymous Trump official directly, but his allusion seemed clear as he warned against putting hope in unaccountable, unelected bureaucrats to protect the country from Trump’s worst impulses.”
“The claim that everything will turn out okay because there are people inside the White House who secretly aren’t following the president’s orders, that is not a check. I’m being serious here. That’s not how our democracy’s supposed to work. These people aren’t elected. They’re not accountable. They’re not doing us a service by actively promoting 90% of the crazy stuff that’s coming out of this White House, and then saying, don’t worry, we’re preventing the other 10%. That’s not how things are supposed to work. This is not normal.”
Link to article: Obama speech: The 7 most important moments on Trump