Former President Barack Obama dropped a new book today entitled, “A Promised Land”.
The 700 page memoir arrives on the heels of a bitter election outcome, political and social unrest in the country.
.@BarackObama: "I did not believe how easily the Republican establishment, people who had been in Washington for a long time and had professed a belief in certain institutional values and norms, would just cave.'
Full interview comes tomorrow @TheAtlantic.
— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) November 15, 2020
As the President that attempted to unite the country under the banner of HOPE, branded so well by the Shepard Fairey iconic campaign image, he now reflects on a country that is more divided than he left it.
Or maybe not.
Well, @BarackObama tells @TheAtlantic that’s he’s ‘sympathetic to a certain strain of conservatism in the sense that I’m not just a materialist. I’m not an economic determinist’. Also forgot to mention he’s an imperialist.
— Vijay Prashad (@vijayprashad) November 17, 2020
During an interview with The Atlantic’s Editor-in-Chief, Jeffrey Goldberg, Obama revealed his deeper understanding about how his Presidency evokes some of the blatant divisions seen in America today.
He remembered how the 2008 Presidential election, where he faced off against Arizona Senator John McCain and running mate Sarah Palin, showed the first inkling of the neo-American rift.
Within the Republican ticket, there was a murmur of nativism and disregard of facts and experience on the behalf of Sarah Palin. Her supporters were the foundation for the first Trumpers.
Their raw rage at the thought of a Black President turned into an outright rallying cry during the Trump candidacy in 2016.
Even John McCain had to calm down the base during some 2008 campaign rallies reassuring Red country that Obama was a good man.
There's this book, it's called 1984. It relates to the fact of epistemological uncertainty. When one can no longer believe or know actual facts and actual truth, you have an epistemological crisis. In the book it is deliberately created to control populations.
— Wrecker101 (@MikeeMikeNY) November 15, 2020
They feared him being a Muslim, un-American, and essentially an alien to the American aesthetic. Palin represented the essence of the American dream: a White married mother of 5 children who was the Governor of the last frontier, Alaska.
This differed greatly from the bi-racial child of an African father and White mother raised in Hawaii who grew up to become a Harvard graduate and father of two who became an Illinois senator.
Also, the news targeting algorithms of social media companies like Facebook and the conservative media ecosystem wasn’t as pronounced as it is now.
.@BarackObama: “The degree to which these companies are insisting they are more like a phone company than they are like The Atlantic, I do not think is tenable…The First Amendment doesn't require private companies to provide a platform for any view that is out there.”
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) November 16, 2020
The words of the Accelerant-in-Chief hit a lot differently now when social media programs extreme viewpoints to those who enjoy those ideas.
Cable News has embraced the slant and now caters directly towards demographics instead of delivering the facts sans opinions.
During the interview, Obama low key coined the phrase, “Truth Decay” when discussing Trump’s penchant for “alternative facts” and the media which props it up.
He also realized that the reason so many millions are willing to believe it is due to deep-seated racism that America has embedded in its DNA.
Fear of a Black planet.
Obama, although purposely obtuse during his Presidency, made it a reality with his beautiful Black family extolling the virtue of being Black and excellence in America.
Most of the excerpt from Obama’s book that was in the Atlantic this week but ESPECIALLY the bit about preferring to write long hand on a yellow legal pad is 100% Jed Bartlet energy pic.twitter.com/7GeseFyJkn
— Cait (@StrongGayArms) November 16, 2020
It is a wound that hasn’t healed and Trump ripped off any potential band-aid Hillary Clinton tried to apply in the 2016 election.
There exists two America’s where cultural norms differ and the commonalities are considered almost erased. When technology met populism the two had a cantankerous marriage that has spilled into the streets like Ike and Tina.
Make no mistake, although Obama won’t fully say it, we are in the middle of a revolution. One where tyranny is possible if you hit the right keynotes to a base filled with White rage.
Look no further than the Million MAGA March and Charlottesville for your proof.
My late dad (a retired judge), while watching the Republicans during one of Darryl Issa’s many hearings, said in disgust:
“I don’t think any of these guys could get a real job. That’s why they’ll do anything to stay in office.”
— Colleen Carroll (@shaynaxena) November 15, 2020
Nowadays as the former President plays voyeur to the current American landscape, he still believes that the moral arch of the universe is long but that it ultimately bends towards justice.
The problem with that long view, however, is that it goes both ways.
It is a socio-political version of the unstoppable force paradox. It is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.
The immovable object and the unstoppable force are both implicitly assumed to be indestructible.
America suffers from truth decay and no dentist can be prescribed to treat the ailment. Obama sold hope and millions bought it and even pushed the concept of a post-racial America.
However, Donald Trump’s MAGA philosophy was an overarching term to encompass the other reality within America, fear of erasure.
Until that part is understood the truth isn’t good enough. It only proves that the base who raged for Sarah Palin and warred for Donald Trump are losing their so-called promised land.