Barack Obama, former US President, has finally decided to break cover and campaign for the Democrats days before the mid-term election. Obama’s long held silence, since he left office in January 2017, over the dismantling of his legacy by the present White House incumbent, Donald Trump, was a sign of the dignity and respect that was a hallmark of his presidency. Needs must and Obama is back on the campaign trail ramping up the feverish pitch for the Democrat Blue vote.
In a break with Presidential tradition Obama has been criticising Trump in an effort to counter attack Trump’s divisive rhetoric that is stoking up fear and hatred. Calling out Trump for branding the caravan immigrants as the ”biggest threat to America”, Obama referred to it as a ‘political stunt‘. He has also used words such as “lying” and “fear-mongering” in a damning indictment of Trump’s rambles at his rallies.
The contrast in style and intellect could not be wider. While Trump comes across as someone who would be better off sitting at the head of a very long dining table with a horse’s head on a gold tray rather than behind a shiny desk in the Oval Office, Obama is thoughtful. He draws upon political norms and bedrocks of democracy such as the Rule of Law and utilitarian principles such as the greatest good.
Mr. Obama said that even conservatives should be disturbed by Mr. Trump’s disregard for the Constitution and basic decency. “I know there are sincere conservatives who are compassionate and must think there is nothing compassionate about ripping immigrant children from the arms of their mothers at the border,” he said.
Obama told supporters at a rally that they could be saving somebody’s life just by voting. In contrast Trump still, like a broken record, draws the greatest excitement among MAGA supporters by encouraging them to shout, ‘Lock her up’. Obama’s response to this was classic, “this from people who won the election”.
Apart from the political spectacle of two Presidents battling it out for control of the Houses of the Senate and the Representatives, their respective skin colours are the embodiment of the racial politics of the elections. Trump is relying heavily on the White rural Redneck vote who sees any other type of person as a threat to their existence. Just in the last week the rise of White domestic terrorism has reared its ugly head seen in the shootings in Pittsburgh.
Obama, instead, was known for shedding tears in public whenever a mass shooting occurred in America.
It almost goes without saying that should the Republicans gain unfettered control of both Houses, then all Obama’s efforts will have been in vain. There will be no feel good factor apart from the MAGA lovers feeling ever more emboldened in their efforts to reshape America as the land of the ultra Conservative. A land in which only White people will be entitled to a form of citizenship that is exclusionary and dangerous to others. God help America if this should happen on 6 November.
This blog post was featured in the Top 12 on 4 November 2018