by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Barack Obama doesn’t want America validated, at least not by the wrong people.
In taking a shot at Republicans Tim Scott and Nikki Haley, Obama told his former campaign strategist, David Axelrod, in a podcast interview, “I think there’s a long history of African-American or other minority candidates within the Republican Party who will validate America and say, ‘Everything’s great, and we can make it.’”
And who would want that dangerous message spreading across the land, poisoning young minds and misinforming the credulous?
Citing America’s racial history, Obama said: “If somebody is not proposing, both acknowledging and proposing elements that say, ‘No, we can’t just ignore all that and pretend as if everything’s equal and fair. We actually have to walk the walk and not just talk the talk.’ If they’re not doing that, then I think people are rightly skeptical.”
Obama’s statement was a classic expression of the disdain that progressives feel for minority conservatives. The Left considers them traitors to their racial groups, who use their personal credibility to counter the conventional narrative on racism in a way that is profoundly threatening.
Scott replied to Obama with one of his characteristic lines, “The truth of my life disproves the lies of the radical left.”
There are several things to say about this exchange. First, it’s rich for Obama, the son of a white mother and a Kenyan economist, who attended a prestigious Hawaii prep school, to lecture the descendant of slaves about the realities of race in America.
Two, when the mood of the Left was more optimistic and less obsessed with so-called white supremacy, Barack Obama used to sound a lot like Tim Scott. He emphasized uplift and how his success showed what’s possible in America.