If you’ve been paying attention for the past 12 years or so, you may have noticed that Barack Obama tends to contradict himself. He’ll say one thing at one point, and then at another point he’ll say the complete opposite. And both times he really means it! I don’t know how much of it is intentional and how much is just his own lack of self-awareness, but I call it Past Obama vs. Present Obama.
Here’s Present Obama just yesterday, good-naturedly but firmly scolding Past Obama about wokeness and callout culture:
— ATTN: (@attn) October 30, 2019
“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 I think one danger I see among young people, particularly on college campuses… and this is accelerated by social media, there is this sense sometimes of, ‘The way of me making change is to be as judgmental as possible about other people, and that’s enough.’ Like, if I tweet or hashtag about how you didn’t do something right, or used the wrong verb… then I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself. ‘Cause man, you see how woke I was? I called you out… 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.”
Or, you might get all the way to the Oval Office.
Man, this guy must’ve hated the president we had before Trump. That guy was always talking about “getting in their faces” and “punching back twice as hard.” He thought anybody who disagreed with him was just “clinging to their guns and religion.” He was judgmental as hell about a plumber who asked him a question he wasn’t prepared to answer without embarrassing himself. Past Obama was not at all the sort of person Present Obama is describing here.
But hey, it’s still good advice for young people. If you wait long enough, eventually Obama will say something true by accident.
Is it just me, or does he really sound like a right-winger there? The 2016 election was, in part, a backlash against the exact sort of behavior Obama is criticizing. People are tired of being judged, getting called out for using the wrong verb and so forth, and they voted accordingly.
Is Obama jumping on the Trump Train? Is he turning into Barack O’MAGA? Are we going to see him at Patriot Prayer rallies in a red hat and “Lock Her Up” t-shirt? Is he going to get #cancelled, like Kanye?
Probably not. But would it really be any weirder than the rest of this stuff?