## Monday, November 04, 2019

### Wise words against outrage culture: Obama's!?

A few days ago, Barack Obama was giving a talk at the Obama Foundation Summit and listen for a minute what he had to say:
This idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re always politically ‘woke’ and all that stuff. You should get over that quickly. The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws. People who you are fighting may love their kids. And share certain things with you.

And one danger that I see, especially on the college campus (we talked about this, someone goes to school with my daughter – Obama's rhetorical organs were getting entangled at this point) is – I do get this sense while talking to young people and it's accelerated by the social media – there is this sense that the way of me making change is to be as judgmental as possible about other people and that’s enough.

That’s not activism. That’s not bringing about change. If all you’re doing is casting stones, you’re probably not going to get that far. That’s easy to do.
Cool. Even among sane rightwingers, you find just a small number of people who can say these things this nicely.

I must say that I am not completely shocked by these words because I've never considered Barack Obama to be "intrinsically the most far left person out there". To be more specific, I think that his wife is far more extreme – and hateful – and she was probably the main person who was pushing the ex-president to the limit.

Also, Obama was mostly chosen as the president by the far left wing of the Democratic Party. I think that they "assumed" that he had to be one of them. But this assumption was partly due to their prejudice. They think that when someone is black, he simply has to be a hateful far left-wing fanatic. Don't get me wrong: Obama has still introduced lots of very far left policies etc.

But as the 3 men and 1 woman in the Blaze TV debate that I linked to above say, there is a more important political conflict than the – nearly old-fashioned – left-vs-right battles. It's the insanity-vs-sanity battle which isn't quite the same. It's not quite the same because you still find the left-wing people who actually oppose the insanity. Obama just did. Bill Maher sometimes does. If I thought for an hour, I could perhaps invent a third name, too. ;-) It's not "automatic" for someone who used to be left-wing to join this outrage/cancel/call-out culture.

Obama's monologue has the same content as what many of us say – but some of his words are better. He talks about "casting stones". We've often linked Obama to Islam but I do think that this choice of the metaphor, "casting stones", does show that he has a naturally Christian thinking about these matters. You know, I can fail to recognize a statue of pieta (my culture says that "pieta" is when President Husák lays a wreath at the tomb of an unknown Soviet soldier!) but I also have the Christian thinking about these matters.

On top of that, he uses another technical synonym for this outraged behavior of the far left lunatics who are always holier than thee – they are "as judgmental as possible". Right, that's a calm way of expressing their basic new instinct. Needless to say, the left-wing media have largely ignored these important comments by their guru who used to be the U.S. president. The New York Times published a hit piece by a black author claiming that Obama belonged to an "old" generation of the powerful men who aren't upset about injustice. That's how the "ultimate fresh and young" guy gets treated within a decade if he doesn't bow to the new orthodoxy. Also, this author has claimed that Obama has joined "white straight men" and "far right conservative talking heads" while the young constantly outraged trolls are on par with Nelson Mandela. ;-)

Incidentally, in the Blaze TV discussion (led by a woman who was "happy to be back in the patriarchy, yay" while the viewers saw a domina with three slaves LOL), they also played comments by Michelle Obama who complained about the "white flight". People move away when the Obama family move in. So all whites must feel guilty, the obnoxious hateful racist implicitly says. The debaters mentioned that there were lots of "non-hateful" reasons why people of all colors move from one place to another. And indeed, people may have good reasons to move away e.g. from Michelle Obama because they have trouble with her as a human being which doesn't generalize to other blacks.

At any rate, what Barack Obama said is too little too late. The absurd situation in which you hear these wise things from a guy who became a symbol of the unstoppable explosion of the outrage culture only shows one thing: that he was just an incredibly weak president. He may have always been a good man (with an evil wife) but it's really not enough for someone who wants to be a great politician. A great politician simply must radiate some power. For Barack Obama, a good beginning would be to spend at least as much time in the gym as his wife so that he could at least tilt the power balance at home in the unexpected direction. ;-)

Czech ex-president Klaus likes to say a witticism he learned from a politician deeper in the post-Soviet realm: I couldn't do miracles because I was just a prime minister or president, not the dictator. Although America is more powerful and its system is more presidential, it's still basically true in the U.S. The U.S. president is far from omnipotence. But one thing that Barack Obama could have done – but he failed to do so – was to moderate the evolution of his own party. The path towards the status quo became unavoidable sometimes during his presidency (the timing obviously can't be determined too accurately and it could have been a bit earlier or a bit later, too).

Didn't he see that unhinged far left students were already casting stones at everyone when he was the president? Shouldn't he have said something when his words actually mattered more than they matter today? He just didn't do anything which is why it's fair that the history will remember as the president who supervised the transition of the Democratic Party from a generic left-wing party to an insane one.

One of the debaters at Blaze TV said that he would be willing to lose (along with the GOP candidates) the next elections if the Democratic Party returned to the sane members. I agree with that. But I think it is almost impossible. It is actually much easier for the GOP to defeat the Democratic Party than it is for the sane Democrats to defeat the insane ones within their party. The sane Democrats have been much more suppressed than any other groups anywhere.

Czech composer Vadim Petrov (87) received the Order of Friendship from Putin today, congratulations. (His father, a doctor of the same name, was an emigrant to Czechia from the spheres of Russian aristocracy – the dynasty has been around since 842 AD [wow] and it's good that an ex-Bolshevik is appreciating the Russian nobility and indirectly a country that allowed the family to live better. A granddaughter is a supermodel.) From my childhood, for more than 30 years, I thought that my favorite composition at the Singing Fountain in Marienbad (one of the most famous Bohemian spa towns) had to be one by Petr Hapka or Frederik Chopin. I couldn't find that damn composition. With the delay of several decades and thanks to Vovka Putin, I could finally fill the missing piece of the puzzle: It was Petrov's Nocturne [music inspired by night]! Thanks, Putin and Mother Rus. And last but not least, thanks to Vadim Petrov, too, of course. ;-)

I should have gone through all the Singing Fountain compositions systematically – already many years ago. Or if I were thinking about the personal styles, I should have guessed it was Petrov – because I knew Petrov has made the similar theme music for the Krakonoš fairy-tale TV series.

The Russian movies and other parts of the culture are "almost a non-event" for me and probably most Czechs but this composition may be added to the music with Russian DNA that I re-discovered after decades and that made me rather sentimental. You know, I think it's right to say that Russian was my second language, a fact that is probably unpopular to say today but I am proud enough.