“If I hear anybody saying their vote does not matter, that it doesn’t matter who we elect — read up on your history. It matters. We’ve got to get people to vote,” Obama said. “I will consider it a personal insult — an insult to my legacy — if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election. You want to give me a good sendoff? Go vote.”
—-President Barack Obama, addressing the Congressional Black Caucus gala in a speech excoriating Donald Trump and praising Hillary Clinton as the candidate of black America. Obama warned that while his name would not be on the ballot in November, all of the progress that the country has made over the last eight years was on the line.
1. What progress? This is the Big Lie that has been repeated from the beginning? The greatest progress made in the last eight years has been the stock market, which is not, I assume, the progress the Congressional Black Caucus cares about. Divisions in American society have been exacerbated, and grossly so. Racial trust is at its lowest level in decades. The schools? Higher education? The debt? The nation’s leadership abroad? The Affordable Care Act, which has helped health insurance become less affordable for anyone not receiving government subsidies? Gross incompetence, malfeasance and lack of accountability in one federal department and agency after another: is that progress? Has there been progress in dealing with the threat of terrorism? Murder rates are up after years of decline. There have been more mass shootings in this administration than in the last three combined. More Americans are on public assistance: is that progress to Obama? A majority of the public thinks the country is off the tracks; public trust in government is at its lowest point in history, far lower than after Watergate. First Amendment, Second Amendment, and Fourth Amendment rights are under assault as never before. Progress?
The question isn’t political, it’s ethical: if there isn’t progress, then Obama’s statement is a lie. By his own benchmarks when he ran for office, the major one being governing as neither white or black, liberal or conservative, but for the welfare of the entire nation, he has failed disastrously, and the signs are everywhere. No, his spinners don’t get to argue that there would have been progress if the evil Republicans in Congress hadn’t foiled Obama (in part because he hasn’t the political skills to negotiate or the political courage to compromise), because Obama said there IS progress.
2. Obama’s statement was certainly spoken like the raging narcissist he is. The election is about him, and he’ll be personally peeved if people don’t vote the way he has directed them to vote. Wow.
3. The only reason to vote or not vote, vote for Trump, Clinton, or someone else, is to ensure the Presidential candidate you support or favor gets elected, or the candidates you distrust and dislike don’t get elected. Whether your vote makes Obama feel bad is no rational at all, and it is shockingly arrogant, misleading and irresponsible for the President to suggest otherwise.
4. This is emotional blackmail, like the suffocating mother who demands that a loving son marry the woman picked out by Mama “if you really love me.” How manipulative. How insulting. How presumptuous. How disrespectful.
5. How desperate.