Michelle Obama is making the news.
‘Becoming’, a documentary on her journey as the first black First Lady of the United States is available on Netflix now. While the documentary is largely non-political, Michelle shed some interesting thoughts on the 2016 election.
The former First Lady said that while she isn’t angry at the people who voted for Trump, she felt betrayed by those part of the Democratic coalition not turning up. In the documentary, she says low turnout amongst women, working-class minorities, and all others part of Obama’s rainbow coalition felt like a ‘slap on the face’. In the documentary, Michelle referred to the Democratic base as ‘our’ people.
While it’s unclear if Democratic voters feel guilty about disappointing Michelle Obama, her comments are very revealing. Remember her mindset is a good representation of what the Establishment thinks happened in 2016 (besides Russiagate, of course).
If progressives are wondering if the establishment is more humble in 2020 after a defeat to Trump, these comments provide the answer.
The Thing Michelle Obama Doesn’t Get – All Voters Are Not Tribal
The part of the documentary where Michelle refers to the Democratic base as ‘our people’ is revealing. In 2008, Barack Obama won the presidency promising to bring the troops back home, being strict with Wall Street and refusing to kowtow to donors and special interest lobbyists.
He didn’t do any of these things.
Obama started new wars in Libya and Yemen. He didn’t get our troops back home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Remember the promise he made about being strict with Wall Street? He stacked his administration with people with cosy ties to the big banks and corporations. The crown jewel of Obama’s presidency, Obamacare, was effectively a half-baked attempt at universal healthcare which kept private insurance vultures alive and failed to rein in the pharmaceutical industry.
Michelle Obama’s ‘people’ didn’t turn up to vote because Obama didn’t stand for the things he said he would. She forgets that voters won’t just vote to get the blue team in Congress and the White House. Most people part of the Obama coalition voted for him because they thought he would bring real change to DC. His ideas, matched by his charisma helped him win the White House. As soon as he did the opposite of what he promised, voters stopped turning up.
What Do We Learn About the Establishment From Her Comments?
To this day, there is no political figure the Democratic Establishment hates more than Ralph Nader. Growing up, many progressives, influenced by the mainstream media narrative, started hating Nader too.
If progressives only knew that Nader is the reason they have car bags in automobiles, cleaner air to breath, clean water to drink, and a range of other things, maybe progressives would respect him more. Without winning an election, Nader managed to bring more positive change to American life than any Democrat.
The reason Nader is hated in the Democratic establishment is that he was more progressive than any mainstream Democrats. They hate him because he refused their half-baked incremental approach to real progressive reform. Through his popularity, Nader ensured both Gore and Kerry would lose to Bush in 2000 and 2004.
Democrats feel their voters ‘owe’ them votes. Michelle Obama’s comments confirm as much. That is why when someone like Nader comes along, they flap around like hapless chickens and show real aggression.
Bernie Sanders faced the same kind of hatred Nader did. Both Sanders and Nader represent a part of the electorate the Democrats don’t understand. If it were up to the Establishment, they would rather nominate John McCain and Mitt Romney on the Democratic ticket than listen to Sanders or Nader.
To the Democratic Establishment, presidential elections are not about a choice between two parties. They are a census exercise, an attendance roll-call. All they want is for ‘their’ people to show up, even if the people stand to gain nothing. And if ‘their’ people don’t show up, they feel they’ve been slapped on the face like the former First Lady Michelle Obama felt.
(Image Credit – Obama White House)