Before he leaves office, President Barack Obama decided to take one last shot at those “who cling to their guns and religion,” and he did it this time without using euphemistic speech.
In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria for a fawning special titled “The Legacy of Barack Obama,” the president all but accused white people who live in the South of being racist against him and his presidency, implying that southern voters are “on the fringes.”
“Are there folks whose primary concern about me has been that I seem foreign — the other? Are those who champion the birther movement feeding off of bias? Absolutely,” Obama said.
“There are people who dislike me because they think I’m a liberal,” he added. “I think there’s a reason attitudes about my presidency among whites in Northern states are very different from whites in Southern states.”
— CNN (@CNN) December 8, 2016
In other words, states that voted for you aren’t racist, but states that didn’t vote for you are. Wow. I haven’t heard such a self-serving, solipsistic definition of “racism” in quite a while. And keep in mind, I keep tabs on Huffington Post as part of my job, so I more or less run into them on the daily.
But that’s not all. According to RealClearPolitics, Zakaria said, “The president doesn’t see racism in mainstream opposition to him but he does see it on the fringes.”
Put his statements together and it turns out that if you’re a Southern white voter, you’re more or less on the fringes when it comes to Obama.
Of course, Obama’s scarcely coded racist insults may have something to do with it.
His infamous “guns and religion” comment got him in trouble during his first run for the presidency back in 2008. Then, earlier this year, Obama complained that because of conservative media that doesn’t treat him with the deference and fawning he’s come to expect, “white Americans think that reverse discrimination is as big a problem as discrimination against minorities.”
“It’s the story that is broadcast every day on some cable news stations, on right wing radio it’s pumped into cars and bars and VFW halls all across America and right here in Elkhart,” he told an Indiana audience. “If you’re hearing that story all the time, you start believing it. It’s no wonder people start thinking big government is the problem.”
In fact, this likely has to do with the real gap in voting for Obama and the Democrats, which is actually between rural voters and urban voters as opposed to Southerners versus Northerners.
In 2012, Obama won urban voters 62 percent to 36 percent, as NPR pointed out. Meanwhile, he lost rural voters — no matter where they fit along the contours of the Mason-Dixon line — by a whopping 59 percent to 39 percent.
Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton did even worse with rural voters, losing to Republican rival Donald Trump by a 62 percent to 34 percent margin. (For the visually impaired among our readership, Clinton was and continues to be, in fact, white.)
Perhaps, then, the problem isn’t that Democrats have to face racist white voters down South. It’s that they keep calling voters down South — as well as conservatives of all stripes — racists. They compound this by offering almost no solutions for the problems of working-class voters, instead wondering why they’re not grateful for all that the left has done for them.
Maybe next time Obama and the Democrats should focus on including all Americans in their platform, not just dismissing those who don’t agree with it as racists.