Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. The Iowa caucuses are quickly approaching and the democratic primary that was lacking diversity of thought, is void of racial diversity too. Sen. Kamala Harris is out. Rep. Julian Castro is out. Gov. Deval Patrick is playing hide-and-seek and Sen. Cory Booker is out, and they all have former President Barack Obama to blame for it.
Obama ruined the chances that a black democrat running in the presidential primary could win the nomination for the foreseeable future. His presidency was a disaster for democrats. Consequently, black candidates running for the presidency are viewed with more skepticism. We witnessed this in the primary. Most likely, a white candidate will face President Donald Trump in November 2020. Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren have raised tens of millions of dollars in the fourth quarter of 2019, ensuring they’ll be around for a while.
To be clear, I don’t believe democrat voters are racists, a courtesy they’d never extend to conservatives. However, I do believe that despite the left’s claims that they’re the champions of diversity, it’s clear their voters were unwilling to support black candidates that were “empty suits.” To their credit, this is progress even if they don’t realize it. The question is, how did their base, that prides themselves in identity politics get to this point?
The answer lies in Obama’s presidency. Many non-blacks flocked to the polls to vote for “hope and change,” and to prove that they themselves weren’t racists. Under Obama’s Administration sea levels were supposed to recede. Race-relations were supposed to improve. Partisanship was supposed to make room for compromise. The economy was supposed to grow exponentially and equitably. Healthcare was supposed to become more affordable and accessible, and foreign nations were supposed to respect us again post George W. Bush. None of that happened under Obama.
As the most powerful man in the world, who was also biracial, Obama had a unique opportunity to racially unite Americans. He didn’t. Instead, he used his platform to exploit race-related controversies. Whether it was “Beer-gate” with Professor Henry Louis Gates, the self-defense shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, or Officer Darren Wilson’s justified shooting of Michael Brown and the subsequent Ferguson riots, Obama never missed an opportunity to stoke the flames of racial division.
Furthermore, Obama ushered in a new era of partisan politics like we’d never seen. Anyone who opposed his policies was branded a racist. He weaponized his race to avoid criticism of his policies, and to avoid compromising on legislation with republicans and moderate democrats. This allowed Obama to systematically move the democratic party further left with little to no scrutiny from his media allies and Washington elites. When faced with typical Washington gridlock, Obama threatened to use his “pen and phone” to advance his radical left-wing agenda to fundamentally transform America.
Some of you may recall the “Recovery Summer of 2009.” After the U.S. economy recovered from the 2008 recession, Obama and former vice president Joe Biden declared victory over the so-called “Great Recession.” The two launched a six-week campaign created to brag on infrastructure projects paid for by you and I. That stimulus package was called the “American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009.” Obama claimed his stimulus package would provide good paying “shovel ready” jobs to hard working Americans. Only to admit later that the jobs he proposed “weren’t so shovel ready after all.” But who cares right?! It was only $787 billion of our money flushed down the drain. Obama’s wasteful spending combined with his vitriol for capitalism and job creators, resulted in lower consumer confidence ratings and the worst economic recovery in modern American history.
Then, there’s Obamacare. Despite promises that healthcare premiums for a family of four would decrease by $2,500 annually, they doubled by 2013. Obama promised that under his “Affordable Care Act,” you could keep your healthcare plan and your doctor. Those were lies. Many of the individuals Obama claimed Obamacare would help, such as people in the individual market, were priced out of healthcare insurance altogether, or forced to buy coverage from his healthcare exchanges that offered fewer services at higher costs.
Additionally, Obama’s foreign policy made America weaker. Under his watch, Russian president Vladimir Putin reasserted himself unto the world stage after annexing Crimea from the Ukraine. Instead of sending weapons so Ukrainians could defend themselves against Russia, Obama sent blankets and MREs to somehow stop bullets from Russian AK-47s.
Furthermore, ISIS emerged on the scene after Obama killed the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi with no strategic plan for the region. He created the vacuum that caused ISIS to spread like a cancer throughout the Middle East. Obama also refused to enforce his “red line” when Syrian president Bashir al-Assad allegedly used chemical weapons against his own people. This emboldened the world’s dictators.
But that’s not all. Obama ignored the advice of his Generals and prematurely pulled U.S. troops out of Iraq, destabilizing the country and creating another safe-Haven for ISIS. Lastly, Obama left over $1.5 billion on a tarmac in Iran to bribe the Mullah’s into behaving, all so he could claim a foreign policy win. It didn’t work. The world became a more dangerous place to live under Obama.
Obama’s legacy of racial divisiveness, hyper-partisanship and his total disregard for the Constitution and our legislative process became a liability for democrats in 2010 when the GOP recaptured the House in an historical landslide election, and In 2014 when they took back the U.S. Senate as well.
So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that democratic primary voters are less likely to give black candidates the leeway they gave an unexperienced Barack Obama. He let them down. Thanks to his legacy, democrats won’t be guilted into overlooking one’s policies because of their race anymore. That’s not racism. That’s smart.