by JAZZ SHAW
The Democrats have trotted out their celebrity superstar Barack Obama in an attempt to save his party from a wipeout on Tuesday and he’s been making stops in states across the nation in response. But when he showed up in Nevada this week to deliver a lengthy stemwinder, he seemed to lose track of the country he is currently living in. When he cautioned people about the threat that a Republican victory on November 8th would pose to democracy, Obama described how things are in countries without a functional democracy, a warning that I assume all of us could take to heart. But he went on to list some examples of things that happen in countries without our rights and freedoms. See if you recognize any of them. Here’s the video of his address. Skip forward to the 34:50 mark. You only need to listen to roughly three minutes of it and then he moves on to different talking points.
For those not inclined to watch the video above, Obama opens this portion of the speech with some generic warnings about democracy in general.
“I understand that democracy might not seem like a top priority right now. Especially when it doesn’t seem like the results always work for you. When you don’t see enough progress on issues that matter to you and your family. Sometimes progress is slow. But we have seen throughout history and we’re seeing right now what happens when you give up on democracy.”
Then we get to the specific complaints about undemocratic government practices. Let’s take a moment to examine the four specific charges.
“You see it in countries where the government tells you what books you can and cannot read.”
Perhaps this might remind you of a country where public school libraries (that are regulated by the government) have removed the Bible, Huckleberry Finn, and the Diary of Anne Frank while adding books celebrating boys deciding to be girls (or vice versa) and the demonization of the Founding Fathers. Other districts have gone in the other direction, banning books with LGBTQ themes. I’ll give you a hint. The country’s name is two words and they start with the letters U and S. Shouldn’t all of the books that don’t contain clearly pornographic material be available, with adults providing guidance and context regarding the contents?
“Countries where, if you dissent, you get put into jail.”
That certainly sounds awful. Must be some sort of third-world, authoritarian nation. You know… the sort of place where a pastor gets hauled off to jail in front of his children by a dozen armed federal agents with body armor and rifles because he sang hymns in an abortion clinic. Or where someone gets five years in prison for literally just walking around in a restricted area of the Capitol. And yet people who burn crisis pregnancy centers to the ground in a place where security cameras were operating pose too great of a mystery for the government to solve.
“Countries where reporters are silenced.”
Do you mean a country like the one where one of the oldest established newspapers was locked out of social media for weeks before an election for the “crime” of accurately reporting about a family member of an elected official? And where that happened while the government was proveably working in concert with the tech platforms to ensure that such voices were silenced? That sort of a country? Sounds terrible.
“Countries where it doesn’t matter who you vote for because the same folks are going to win every time and they’ll do what they want because corruption is rampant and there’s no accountability.”
Many listeners must have been struggling to even imagine a nation where the courts would help suppress efforts to hand count ballots so the totals could be matched against the machine counts. And what sort of banana republic dictatorship would ban election monitors from watching ballot drop boxes to ensure there was no hanky panky going on?