Lack of civility had begun under the watch of Obama
Civility – or the lack of it – has been much in the news these last few weeks. News commentators, pundits, columnists, and politicians are lamenting what they see as a lack of civility in the national discourse concerning issues of importance. Some, however, are laying this lacuna on the fact one political party has no power within the halls of government, namely the Democratic Party.
That position was made eminently clear by former Democratic candidate for President Hillary Rodham Clinton, who stated flatly civility will return only when Democrats return to some type of power. After all, she averred, the party in power is attempting to “destroy” everything her side believes.
Unfortunately, this downward trend toward a lack of hearing the other side began a decade ago, and got progressively worse during the Obama years. Let us take you back to the campaign of 2008 and what transpired after it.
Barack Hussein Obama became the darling of mainstream media, and the horse upon which the party leadership decided to ride to victory. Due to his skin color, any attempt to discredit his position on issues was immediately disparaged as a racial slur. This disparagement, you will recall, was hurled at former President Bill Clinton. Clinton made a rather prosaic criticism of Obama’s positions, and was called a “racist.” This to a man who was once hailed as the nations “first black president.”
The situation gelded the Clinton campaign and did the same to John McCain. His criticisms of Obama’s positions on anywhere from immigration to foreign policy were reduced to boiler plate talking points. Still, the charge of racism followed McCain through the rest of the campaign, with the approval of the mainstream media.
When Obama became President, any disagreements concerning his policies were given a racial patina. No opposition was valid, all was racist. This was not so much used as a talking point as a determined ploy to end any and all debate, no matter how valid.
During that time also, Obama used his position to undermine the very institutions of government he was sworn to uphold. From the Supreme Court being ostracized during the State of the Union, to disagreements on Obamacare (“I won”) to the famous “beer summit” because of a dispute in Cambridge, MA, Obama validated the worst inclinations of the left, and gave them not only voice, but approbation. Ferguson, MO, Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street and other incidents were hailed from the president’s bully pulpit.
The eight-year degradation of national institutions, coupled with the steady decline of Democratic Party fortunes coalesced these groups, and allowed shrill voices to take over the debate. As more and more seats went over to the Republicans in state, local and national elections, shrillness became more and more commonplace.
The stage was set for what we have today. The Progressive agenda of Obama, though stalled, was still accomplished through his “phone and pen.” Hillary Rodham Clinton was supposed to be the Obama third and fourth term. But, Americans – at least 63 million of them – had enough of being bullied, and chose Donald J. Trump.
A group that though power was its due for the next generation saw that dream evaporate. For the last two years we’ve seen a temper tantrum the likes of which this nation has not seen ever in its history. The legitimacy of an election was questioned over a supposed collusion with a foreign power. As the facts are uncovered, we now see there was collusion between the Democratic Party, the Obama Administration and the Clinton Campaign to frame the Trump campaign through an elaborate scheme to tilt the election and then then destabilize the new administration.
The reasons for incivility are there. They are serious and they all come from one source. The legacy of Barack Obama is fully on display.