Nowhere to Go, Part 1: A Lingering Past By Reid Neason

With midterm elections, rapidly approaching, the Democratic Party is in a frenzy. They seem to have no definite leaders or party faces, and their platform seems to be shifting even more to the  left by the day. This series of writings will provide my vantage point of the situation and my explanation of why I believe that the Democrats don’t have much going for them in November. Let’s begin.

Like many others, I was left slightly confused when I saw that Barack Obama was hitting the campaign trail for the Democrats going into the midterms. He had his 8 years at the helm, and it’s standard procedure for former presidents to stay away from attacking their successors. Regardless, those eight years didn’t seem to be enough time for him to bask in his own self-image in front of the American people. But regardless, the left seems to love it.

Despite the seemingly Triumphal Entry-style celebrations that came with his recent resurgence in Illinois, I have a hard time believing that this will have any positive effect on their chances in the midterms. Obama mentioned himself upwards of 100 times in that harangue, and that’s exactly what the American people voted to walk away from in 2016. We’d had enough of those self-elevating, condescending lectures that defined public image of the Obama presidency. (see: “You didn’t build that!”, “What magic wand do you have?”)

He didn’t seem to get that message, however. This particular speech saw him take credit for Donald Trump’s booming economy, but somehow abstaining himself from blame for its sad state during his time in the Oval Office. He bemoans Donald Trump’s improving relationships with Vladimir Putin while conveniently forgetting about his and John Kerry’s shady dealings with Iran’s terror-listed regime. It all reeked of the same holier-than-thou façade that often plagued his addresses.

Obama also frequently employed one of the left’s cornerstone strategies: simultaneously spewing divisive rhetoric and claiming that the only divisiveness in this country belongs on the right. He demonized anyone who disagreed with him or his policies, saying that they are the source of all political resentment and paranoia in America today. He disparages “appealing to tribe” and then immediately elevates the liberal base above the seemingly callous and inferior conservatives. He says that America doesn’t need a savior, then paints Democrats as the sole refuge for our democracy. So much for putting yourself above the fear politics that you so denounced.

In the midst of all this hogwash, one sentence of this speech stuck out to me, and it was when Obama called Donald Trump a symptom, not the cause, of America’s current state of affairs. He’s right, because he’s the cause. The people have grown tired of a president whose obsession with his own voice supersedes his sense of duty. This exhaustion is exactly what led us to elect Donald Trump, a president who doesn’t make empty promises and puts the people first.

In all honesty, however, I’m glad that Barack Obama decided to resurface, because it’s only going to help the Republican Party in the midterms. He serves to remind us why we voted the other way, and he will continue to remind us that our decisions have consequences that will stick with us for a long time

Reid Neason

Texas A&M University

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