It’s kind of like Al Gore condemning climate hysteria, or
like Beyoncé denouncing the over-sexualization of modern music. That’s how I
felt watching former President Obama’s recent condemnation of so-called “cancel
culture.” Keep in mind, it’s not that I would be bothered by Gore’s
renunciation of the climate cult or Beyoncé’s censuring promiscuous lyrics,
it’s that I would find the whole thing surreal. When you instigate, fuel, and
participate in something, it’s an odd spectacle for you to turn around and criticize
And that’s how most Americans with a memory that extends
beyond Election Day 2016 had to feel watching the former
Community-Agitator-in-Chief say regarding woke liberalism and its persistent, divisive virtue-signaling:
“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… If all you’re doing is casting stones, you’re probably not going to get that far.”
I got whiplash from the doubletake that statement provoked.
Again, it’s not that I disagree with what he’s saying. In fact, I quite agree,
and I’m beyond thankful that Mr. Obama is lending his persuasive voice to
undermine a movement that is a direct threat to the stability of our
civilization. Intolerance, narrow-mindedness, and bigoted attempts to humiliate
and silence anyone who doesn’t see the world as you do are all deadly in a free
But are we just going to pretend that the presidency of Barack
Obama wasn’t a driving force behind the proliferation of these poisonous
- Remember it was Obama that tactlessly berated the Supreme Court during a State of the Union Address for daring to rule against him.
- It was Obama who taunted Republicans from his opening moments as president by declaring, “Elections have consequences and I won.”
- It was Obama who mocked his ideological opponents by suggesting that Republicans could come with him but they were going to have to ride in the back of the bus for awhile.
- It was Obama who intentionally invited Paul Ryan to sit in the front row, unable to respond, as he publicly trashed Ryan’s budget plan with mischaracterizations and innuendo.
- It was Obama that scorned those of us in “fly-over country” as bitterly clinging to our guns and religion.
- It was Obama that stirred the race tempest repeatedly: from his references to “typical white people,” to falsely accusing the police of “acting stupidly” in their reasonable and appropriate detention of Louis Gates, to wading into the Trayvon Martin furor before the facts were known, to accusing the police of racism in Ferguson, Missouri even after the grand jury decision.
- It was Obama that used memorial services to slaughtered victims of gun violence to lobby for his politics.
- It was Obama that bragged about unilaterally circumnavigating Congress and enacting policy with his “pen and a phone.”
- It was Obama whose own Vice President Joe Biden equated Republicans to terrorists – an offensive comparison that was backed up by others in his administration.
In short, Barack Obama’s entire presidency revolved around
dividing people as a means to accruing power – the very skill embraced and
exploited by current “cancel culture” keyboard warriors. It’s no surprise that
many of those Obama rebuked with his recent remarks actually view Obama himself
as the godfather of their crusade.
Does that mean they will be more likely to listen and dial
down their wokeness quotient a couple dozen notches? Perhaps. But I still would
have voted for Obama never dialing them up in the first place.