At a speech for the Economic Club of Chicago on Tuesday, former President Barack Obama talked about how democracy needs to be tended like a garden. He made particular note of comparing a period of calm in politics to the period just before the rise of the Nazis. He said:
“Now, presume there was a ballroom here in Vienna in the late 1920s or ’30s that looked and seemed as if it, filled with the music and art and literature that was emerging, would continue into perpetuity. And then 60 million people died. An entire world was plunged into chaos,” Obama said. “So you got to pay attention — and vote.”
He continued the theme of shifting political landscapes throughout the speech. But Isn’t this just a tad hypocritical? Clearly, he is comparing the present day with the time just before Hitler’s rise…Making an indirect connection to the “Trump is literally Hitler” club. But we have seen turmoil and division already after a period of relative calm in recent years.
Under Barack Obama, race relations in the United States have gotten much worse. Remember, Black Lives Matter may seem like an anti-Trump protest movement, but they started when Obama was in power and Hillary looked to be next. The crushing poverty and division in majority black neighborhoods did not arrive on January 20th 2017, it has been getting steadily worse under Democrat rule.
So Mr. Obama, thank you for your warnings that we must tend democracy like a garden, but perhaps you need to examine the real legacy you left behind. It is too early to judge what kind of legacy Mr. Trump will leave behind, but it is difficult to see how it could be much worse than your own.