Former president Obama made several inflammatory comments at an event at Rice University in Houston Tuesday, including claiming that the Founding Fathers were responsible for creating divisive identity politics.
Sharing a stage with ultra globalist former Secretary of State James Baker, Obama said he is disappointed to see a move toward “a politics based on a nationalism that’s not pride in country but hatred for somebody on the other side of the border.”
“You start getting the kind of politics that does not allow for compromise, because it’s based on passions and emotions,” Obama said, after referring to President Trump’s campaign.
“It’s identity politics,” Baker chimed in.
Obama then claimed that identity politics started in 1787 at the Constitutional Convention between the Founding Fathers.
Obama chastises America: Our Founders created identity politics with "3/5ths clause" and Jim Crow perpetuated it … Americans have suffered a "great smugness" about our wealth and post-Cold War hegemony. pic.twitter.com/P0icpCgr8g
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) November 28, 2018
“When I hear people say they don’t like identity politics, I think it’s important to remember that identity politics doesn’t just apply when it’s black people or gay people or women,” Obama said.
“The folks who really originated identity politics were the folks who said Three-Fifths Clause and all that stuff. That was identity politics … Jim Crow was identity politics. That’s where it started.” he continued, injecting race into the conversation.
“So part of what’s happened is that when people feel their status is being jostled and threatened, they react,” Obama continued.
The former president then attempted to distance himself from such politics, saying that “the Washington consensus, whatever you want to call it, got a little too comfortable.”
“Particularly after the Cold War. After what you guys engineered, you had this period of great smugness on the part of America and American elites, thinking we got this all figured out.” Obama said.
Elsewhere during the event, Obama noted that in his mind Fox News viewers live in an “entirely different reality” than New York Times readers, and complained that the way media operates now fails to enable Americans “to agree on a common set of facts.”
“In 1981, your news cycle was still governed by the stories that were going to be filed by the AP, Washington Post, maybe New York Times, and the three broadcast stations,” Obama said.
“Whether people got their news from Walter Cronkite or David Brinkley, they tended to agree on a common set of facts. That set a baseline around which both parties had to adapt and respond to,” he continued.
“By the time I take office,” a giggling Obama continued, “What you increasingly have is a media environment in which, if you are a Fox News viewer, you have an entirely different reality than if you are a New York Times reader.”
Obama also continued his trend of taking credit for the economic upturn under Trump.
Speaking about oil production, Obama said “You wouldn’t always know it, but it went up every year I as president. That whole, suddenly America’s like the biggest oil producer and the biggest gas—that was me, people,” he said.
Obama didn’t caveat his comments with the fact that, as The Daily Caller points out, an overwhelming majority of the oil production in America under Obama occurred at the state and local level, while the Trump administration has dramatically increased oil production on federal lands.
Obama also complained that bankers and stock traders disliked him despite the growth of the stock market under his administration.
“What are you talking about? What are you complaining about? Just say, ‘Thank you,’ please,'” Obama demanded.
Obama’s comments come in the wake of a YouGov poll that found that significant numbers of Americans hold extreme views on the country, with almost half of younger people saying they do not believe the US to be ‘great’ now or that it will ever be great in the future.
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