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Obama Expresses Worry About 'Rigidity' of Progressives in America

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The progressive locomotive that has energized the Democratic Party holds the potential to pull the whole train off the rails, former President Barack Obama indicated Saturday in remarks that stressed the need for political compromise.

Obama addressed a town hall event in Berlin that was sponsored by the Obama Foundation.

“One of the things I do worry about sometimes among progressives in the United States — maybe it’s true here as well — is a certain kind of rigidity where we say, ‘Uh, I’m sorry, this is how it’s going to be,’ and then we start sometimes creating what’s called a ‘circular firing squad,’ where you start shooting at your allies because one of them has strayed from purity on the issues. And when that happens, typically the overall effort and movement weakens,” he said, according to The Hill.

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Obama touted the Affordable Care Act as a successful compromise, saying that while it did not achieve everything he wanted, it improved health care in America.

“So I think whether you are speaking as a citizen or as a political leader or as an organizer … you have to recognize that the way we structure democracy requires you to take into account people who don’t agree with you, and that by definition means you’re not going to get 100 percent of what you want,” he added.

Obama noted that there are limits to compromise.

“You should take some time to think in your own mind and continually refine and reflect, ‘What are my core principles?’ Because the danger is if you don’t know what your principles are, that’s when you compromise your principles away,” he said.

Balance is essential, Obama said.

“You can’t set up a system in which you don’t compromise on anything, but you also can’t operate in a system where you compromise on everything,” he said.

Obama’s comments stirred many on Twitter to respond.

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Obama also took a slap at the right, Newsweek reported.

Nationalism, particularly from the far-right, has re-emerged; a politics that divides us into us and them. And we know where that leads. Europe knows better than anyone where that leads,” Obama said.

Obama then told his audience that while times might seem good, the dangers that threaten society are real.

Did Barack Obama follow the advice he is giving others?

“We have to recognize that this moment is full of contradictions. Europe in 2019, in some ways, has achieved the pinnacle of human well-being. Collectively in Europe right now, on average, you probably see the highest standards of living of any group of people in the history of the planet,” he said.

Then came his concern for what comes next.

“(P)owerful forces are threatening to reverse many of these trends. The democratic institutions that helped to bring these about, often times, have been taken for granted. The planet that we live on is in danger,” he said.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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