“When True Democracy Goes Away, People Get Hurt”: Obama Joins Mantra that Democracy is at Risk if GOP Wins

Former President Barack Obama continued the Democratic campaign theme this week in arguing that democracy is in danger if Republicans prevail in the midterm elections. I have a new column out this weekend addressing the over-the-top rhetoric coming from Democratic politicians and pundits. However, the former president’s speech was revealing as he cited the very arguments made by Democrats  . . . as attacks on democracy.  Obama did not go as far as some but he also seemed to channel the dire warnings of the imminent collapse of our democracy if the Republicans should prevail in the elections.

Obama remains one of the most impressive speakers of our time. With the unpopularity of President Joe Biden, candidates are relying heavily on Obama for good reason. His standard stump speech is still heads and shoulders above most other politicians.

Yet, the speech below was notable in the arguments that Obama warns voters not to heed.

“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.”

It was a curious argument given the effort of many in the party to pack the Supreme Court and push censorship on social media.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass, has declared the Supreme Court illegitimate and has called to pack the Court for rending opinions against “widely held public opinion.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., even questioned the institution’s value: “How much does the current structure benefit us? And I don’t think it does.” She has now demanded the impeachment of Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch based on the entirely false claim that they lied under oath in their confirmation hearings. After the Dobbs decision, Ocasio-Cortez demanded “there must be consequences” for the Court.

Elie Mystal (past writer for Above the Law and the Nation) called the Constitution “trash.” Some law professors want to “reclaim America from Constitutionalism.

Obama added that you see the threat to democracy “in countries where the government tells you what books you can and cannot read.” Yet, many on the left are seeking to preserve censorship by surrogate on social media and seeking to prevent the publication of books by those with whom they disagree, including a book by Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett. With corporate censorship threatened, many leaders like Hillary Clinton are turning to good old-fashioned state censorship.

Indeed, President Joe Biden has questioned how citizens will know the truth without censors framing what the truth is on social media and the Internet.

Obama ended this discussion with the same ominous warnings heard from other Democratic politicians and pundits:  “when true democracy goes away, people get hurt.”

Various pundits have been pushing the vote-Democratic-or-die mantra. On MSNBC, historian Michael Beschloss on MSNBC declared a Republican win could lead not only to the end of history books and democracy but lead to the killing of our children. That was then followed by another MSNBC interview with actor and Director Rob Reiner who claimed that Republicans “are willing to kill, literally kill, to get the power . . .  this might be the last election we have in a democracy.”

It is language that is not just demagoguery but dangerous. It is meant to spread fear in citizens and make them believe that our constitutional system is about to fail. We have the most successful constitutional system in the history of the world. It has weathered every storm and will weather our current political divisions. What kills democracy are self-inflicted wounds caused by those who cast doubts about our safety or demonize their opponents as enemies of the state.

228 thoughts on ““When True Democracy Goes Away, People Get Hurt”: Obama Joins Mantra that Democracy is at Risk if GOP Wins”

  1. To the luminaries who question the Constitution, I say gather a diverse group of say 50 and go to some mountain retreat from May to September and write a new Constitution. Leave all your electronics at home. Start with a clean tablet and draft you own constitution. Elect the most esteemed among you to manage the summer. Break into working groups as seems needed. When you have finished present your product to the US Congress as an amendment to the existing Constitution. If you have a great idea you may well get it past the Congress. Then onto the states looking for 39 votes to adopt. If you have really done your work well you might be able to implement your far better ideas. But until then please shut up about your small complaints.

  2. There are two ways to look at the Democrats talking points about Democracy Dying..
    (1) They are projecting as usual and their attempts to kill the Republic will be stifled.
    (2) They know their crimes will be exposed and the USA will effectively become a one party state when everyone knows the truth of what they’ve been up to.

  3. Prof Turkey you said “Obama remains one of the most impressive speakers of our time…… His standard stump speech is still heads and shoulders above most other politicians”.Really? What is so impressive about even one of his speeches? He is always either lying or doing a lawyerly spin on some dangerous stuff he is planning or doing. There may be a couple or a few speeches and I’ll bet he was at best a good teleprompter reader. You will never find anything uplifting or inspiring in his speeches, always negative stuff. He is of course at his best when attacking America!
    If you were fattening the pig before you killed it, you are excused. Otherwise, please don’t praise the guy for nothing like the liberals, press, Nobel committee and the gullible American voters did! People do take you seriously!

    1. It’s called pandering and it’s racial. The ego and hubris of OlBlame/0 only appeals to the Gnosticism of ‘progressives’ who think degeneracy is the right side of history.

  4. Democracy is doing fine but the democratic party stinks like self-dealing and incompetence on many issues as well as good old public corruption, and people are tired of it. With respect to mr. Obama whom I voted for when he first ran for president, I would like to see him distance himself from the biden administration and join the ranks of the people asking uestions and demanding answers about these interesting overseas dealings we keep hearing about, because if hunter biden is selling white house access and accepting bribes, that is a ‘no-go’ and however you are registered to vote you need to understand or at least read about the general topic of public corruption and how it can effectively nullify any input you might have and worse, what happens when we give leverage to foreign countries and business interests over our governing processes.

    Voting republican is a vote for another swamp draining and there are people who do not want that swamp drained. All the more reason for doing so. Multiple states have been under democrat control and direction for some years now and have been seen to suffer as a result, and like the man said, ‘new broom sweeps clean’. Support republicans in their cleanup effort.

    1. Man you are so clueless! Biden is just an idiotic face – the admin is run by all Obama people. Why would he complain in public? In private he may complain that more damage is not being done to America! Did you ever ask the great Obama you so admire what “fundamental Transformation” is? To what? I know your answer. This is what he meant – destroy America! Inflation, war on energy production, unlimited debt ( preferably $50 to $100 Trillion or more), leftists controlling FBI, DOJ, CIA, NSA etc, unlimited immigration to lead to one party rule just like in California, single payer healthcare etc. you get the point?

    2. If only you were correct in your assertion that voting Republican is a vote for “another” swamp draining. Trump comprehensively failed to drain the swamp, and no Republican party effort will ever succeed in doing so, for the Republican party is itself inherently a swamp creature and will always be so. Does the Democrat party appear more corrupt at the current time? Of course it does, for they have held power for most of the recent decades, and thus their excesses and corruption have been firmly on display. But the Republican party has always been just as bad when it held power, and will be so again.

      The swamp is controlled by men who have the ability to print money without limit, and wield that power both to ensure their creatures are embedded in both parties and get elected, and to corrupt politicians who were not already bought prior to their elevation. Many Republican candidates who appear today as knights in shining armor will turn out to be dark and dirty knights once we have elected them just as has always been the case.

      1. of course, you are right in that both parties are part of the swamp. However, our best opportunity is NOW. Hopefully, many of the Rep party who have gone along for various selfish reasons will now be liberated to do the right thing when they will have the opportunity to fix some things. WE MUST ALL REMEMBER THAT THE CONGRESS MAKES THE LAWS BUT THE PRESIDENT CAN VETO THEM. So unless we get a BIG majority to override that VETO, the true help cannot come UNTIL the Presidential election. We must not get too discouraged until then. Democrats are not going to sling off and lick their wounds. They will be angry and planning destruction. We must be patient and persevere and STAY STRONG UNTIL WE GAIN THE PRESIDENCY ALSO. Do not give up when progress is not all we want it to be.

        1. Why do you think crooked corrupt people will be “liberated” to do the right thing? Politicians, once corrupted, are almost always also compromised above and beyond the compromise inherent in their previous corruptions, so they become less and less likely to ever be “liberated”. The longer they have been politicians the more blackmails are held over their heads.

          And why do you think Trump will be any more effective this time than last? Why do you even think Trump is on the side of the angels? My guess is that a good percentage of even “MAGA Republicans” are already corrupted.

          When you buy into this election farce you continue to enable your captors who are openly laughing at you.

  5. Barrack Hussein Barry Sorrento Obama, who peddled divisive racism his entire two terms and now through his surrogate Hey, Where am I? Joe, is on his third term His vision is no longer Hope and Change, but we can so better. No more Constitution. No more Borders, No more elections. It’s time to move on. Once we eliminate all political opposition we can have a new and United country unencumbered by individual liberties and freedoms and totally and completely subserviently submitted to the benevolence of the almighty Marxist State.

  6. Never noted for self-awareness, Obama ironically pointed out as examples of totalitarianism virtually EVERYTHING that Democrats are doing — and have done for many years, especially ever since Obama himself was elected to the Presidency.

  7. A little while ago the president claimed “we’ll choose the truth over facts.” For the party that ostensibly has the monopoly on science, this is a total rejection of it.

    And, where is the evidence – the bothersome facts – for all this anti-democratism they are afraid of. Americans who lived in Russia, China, Eastern Europe, Cuba, Venezuala, and on and on, are seeing the Democrats are dangerous right now.

    What is the most disturbing about this string of “anti-democracy by others” rhetoric is that it can just as easily be made the rationalization for suppressing the anti-democrats (who are whoever the Democrats think they are). All, of course, in the name of saving democracy. This explains a great deal of the growing agitation and fear of Democrats; the agitation seems to prove for the Democrats that democracy is threatened. One party is utterly unselfaware. It is not the Republicans, despite some of the people who identify with it.

  8. This election, and more to come, are acid tests of our ability to rise from our stupor and throw the bums out, no matter how rich, famous, or powerful the bums may be. Enough of their self-interested mind games. Enough of their mass destruction of decency and order. We are not passive stooges of the ruling class.

  9. As has been true all this century, tomorrow you are voting for or against
    — $6 gas and home heating oil
    — Open borders
    — Abortion on demand even after birth
    — Endless wars of no value to U.S.
    — National bureaucratic control of your life vs. states’/parental rights
    — EU level taxation
    — Caving to the Chicoms

    I am happy to say that Americans pretty much all understand the pros and cons of these seven major issues and that even the ones that vote differently than I do vote on their convictions. None of us — even the ones that vote differently than I do — are fooled by all the political hack lies and red-hued Marine guard theatrics

  10. Many Democrat leaders in the United States are solely focused on getting their policies enacted, the accumulation of power, and personal enrichment. These leaders care nothing about the democratic process and the Constitution and will not hesitate to run roughshod over them to get what they want.

      1. What you say is certainly true. Plenty of Republicans are certainly out for their own agenda, their own power, and their own personal enrichment, the democratic process be damned. Some of them are doing time in prison. I do think, however, that the potential for harm from anti-democratic politicians is not as great with the Republican party, which, on average, prefers smaller governmental budgets, smaller governmental footprints, and less intrusion into people’s daily lives. It also seems to be less common for Republican politicians to attempt to shut down the free expression of ideas in the public square.

        1. “not as great with the Republican party, which, on average, prefers smaller governmental budgets, smaller governmental footprints, and less intrusion into people’s daily lives.”

          Do they? I don’t see it, not with NCLB, the Patriot Act and Homeland Security, TARP, letting China into the WTO, etc.

        2. A large part of this difference is due to the network broadcast and print media, who, after gaining a large audience due to a reputation for neutrality (deservedly or otherwise) carried water for the Dems.

      2. If you regard Liz Cheney as “plenty,” then perhaps. Otherwise none whatsoever.

        1. Yeah, we’re a threat to THEIR vision of “democracy”; a single party autocracy whose corrupt heads are installed by rigged elections, who promote wide open borders, push crime and criminals, throw our money around like it’s confetti, destroy our small businesses and the energy industry, indoctrinate our children with filth and Marxist ideology, champion gender dysphoria, stoke racism, division and hate, work endlessly to destroy our culture and remove our God-given freedoms, censor our free speech and then lie about it interminably. Yeah, we are indeed a threat to THAT concept of “democracy”.

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