President Barack Obama‘s out promoting his new book, A Promised Land, which is already the fastest-selling autobiography in history.
It’s an interesting read, though entirely typical of his eight-year presidency: very long (751 pages and that only takes us to the killing of Bin Laden in 2011!), extremely verbose though undeniably eloquent, massively self-promoting and sometimes ludicrously overly-defensive and deluded about his numerous failures.
I’ve never bought into the ‘Saint Barack’ nonsense.
Obama is a very intelligent and charismatic man who talked a great game, as he does in his book, and there’s no denying he was a very impressive public speaker and figurehead.
The guy deported three million immigrants in his tenure, more than any president in history. Indeed, his nickname in Mexico was ‘Deporter-in-Chief.’
His drone strike programme – he ordered more in his first year than George W. Bush in his entire presidency – was shameful.
The Guantanamo Bay detention camp, a human rights abomination where prisoners have been illegally tortured as they’re kept indefinitely without trial, remains open today despite Obama making its closure a key campaign pledge when he first ran for president in 2008.
He did absolutely nothing about gun control despite endlessly vowing to bring in new laws after the numerous appalling massacres that occurred on his watch including Sandy Hook and Aurora.
And he waged a ruthlessly cynical war on the media and freedom of the press that should have had at least as much criticism as Donald Trump’s ‘fake news’ outbursts.
So, no – I won’t be polishing Obama’s halo any time soon.
Nor do I think he was a particularly good president, and certainly nowhere near as good as he thinks he was.
However, there is one area in which he has been a consistently sensible voice of liberal reason, and that is in his repeated refusal to bow to the increasingly outlandish hard-left ‘woke’ mob as they try to cancel anyone and anything that doesn’t sign up to their narrow, uncompromising, joyless world view.
Speaking last year at his own Obama Foundation Summit, Obama said: ‘The idea of purity and never compromise and you’re always politically woke…you should get over that quickly. The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws. People who you are righting might love their kids. One danger I see with young people, particularly on college campuses…there is the sense sometimes of, the way of me making change is to be as judgmental as possible about other people and that’s enough. Like, if I tweet or hashtag about how you didn’t do something right, or used the wrong verb, then I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself. That’s not activism. That’s not bringing about change. If all you’re doing is casting stones, you’re probably not going to get things done.’
That wasn’t the first time he spoke out against the worrying new phenomenon of intransigent self-righteous young wokies on college campuses who simply don’t want to hear any opinion that deviates from what they have decided is acceptable.
In 2015, at a town hall meeting in Iowa, while he was still President, Obama said: ‘Sometimes there are folks on college campuses who are liberal and maybe even agree with me on a bunch of issues who sometimes aren’t listening to the other side. And that’s a problem. I’ve heard of some college campuses where they don’t want to have a guest speaker who is too conservative. Or they don’t want to read a book if it has language in it that is offensive to African Americans, or somehow sends a demeaning signal towards women. I don’t agree with that either. I don’t agree that you, when you become students at colleges, have to be coddled and protected from different points of view. Anybody who comes to speak to you, and you disagree with, you should have an argument with them. But you shouldn’t silence them by saying, ‘You can’t come because, you know, I’m too sensitive to hear what you have to say. That’s not the way we learn either.’
Of course, Obama was roundly attacked for saying all this, by the very woke liberals he was trying to educate.
But I have genuinely admired his refusal to be silenced by them and to continue speaking out about what has become a massive threat to democracy.
And this week, he did so again – only this time he directed his fire at the woke brigade’s incredibly self-destructive ‘DEFUND THE POLICE!’ mantra.
Speaking on Snapchat’s Good Luck America show, he called on progressives to ditch such inflammatory phrases which only serve to drive people away from supporting them.
‘If you believe, as I do, that we should be able to reform the criminal justice system so that it’s not biased and treats everybody fairly,’ he said, ‘I guess you can use a snappy slogan, like ‘DEFUND THE POLICE!’, but you lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you’re actually going to get the changes you want done. The key is deciding, do you want to actually get something done, or do you want to feel good among the people you already agree with. If you instead say, ‘Hey, you know what, let’s reform the police department so that everybody’s being treated fairly, suddenly a whole bunch of folks who might not otherwise listen to you are listening to you.’
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Piers Morgan