Last Friday, while speaking at the University of Illinois, former president Barack Obama began his 2018 campaign on behalf of the Democratic Party. Claiming to speak as a lowly American citizen, he encouraged his audience to vote, this November, "because our democracy depends on it." This was Obama at his best, doing what he does best: inspiring people with well-crafted political rhetoric.
According to Obama, the election of Donald Trump proves that our democracy needs to be "fixed." He doesn't think Donald Trump is the "cause" of the problem; he instead calls him a "symptom." The problem, according to Obama, is that so many voters voted out of fear and resentment, which manifested itself in Donald Trump's election victory. In other words, America's problems are the fault of deplorables.
Barack Obama is right about one thing: Republican voters were resentful in 2016. They resented eight years of the kind of dishonest rhetoric Obama employed in his recent speech. Conservatives were tired of watching mainstream media outlets repeat lies ad nauseam, bullying much of the American public into belief. One example of this kind of gas-lighting was this comment from Obama:
"...we’re sure as heck supposed to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers. How hard can that be? Saying that Nazis are bad."
This comment is quite rich, coming from the guy who couldn't bring himself to say the words "radical Islamic terrorism" and whose administration invented the term "man-caused disaster" as a euphemism for terror attacks. But regardless of the hypocrisy, Obama was deliberately lying. Unfortunately, the lie has been repeated so often that most people believe it. Even conservative pundits repeat it.
That is why it is worth explaining what really took place in Charlottesville back in 2016.
It began in March, when a young progressive vice-mayor, in league with the NAACP, began demanding that Robert E. Lee's statue be removed from Lee Park. The grounds for removal were that the confederate general was a "terrorist," and that his statues' presence sent "subliminal messages of racism." This sparked months of intense debate, and the City Council appointed a special commission to address the issue.
In August, some supporters of white identity politics protested at Lee Park in defense of the statue. In order to sneak themselves into the mainstream, this group cynically labeled their rally "Unite the Right," implying that their alternative to American conservatism deserved a place in American political discourse. A number of well-meaning-but-misguided Americans decided to "counter-protest" the politically irrelevant group, thus bringing it to national attention. Within the counter-protest movement were members of the notoriously violent Left-wing political organization, Antifa.
In the aftermath of the tragic death of Heather Heyer on August 13th, the mainstream media demanded that conservative politicians across the country denounce white identity politics. Donald Trump complied. The media wasn't satisfied, however, because, the day before, Trump attempted to stick up for blue-collar Southern workers—the guys who wear confederate flags on their clothes as a symbol of Southern pride and who don't want history revised by liberal politicians. These "good people," Trump insisted, were present at the Charlottesville rally, too.
Trump may or may not have been right about the facts on the ground in Charlottesville. But in no sense did Trump struggle to denounce Nazism. That is a deliberate distortion created by the mainstream media, and recently repeated by Obama.
Democrats affect bravery when dealing with nearly non-existent (and politically irrelevant) domestic threats, loudly denouncing already universally-reviled ideologies. Yet, when it comes to foreign threats, the Democrats fall silent, unable even to speak the name of their enemy. Democrats claim to have the recipe to fix American democracy, yet they were the ones who mistook radical Islamism for democracy in the Middle East, promoting the advancement of the Muslim Brotherhood as an "Arab Spring."
On this anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, it is important to remember which political party knows what it's talking about regarding democracy and its real threats.