Instead of asking “What if Obama did that?,” perhaps we should think about this kind of “whataboutism” in a different way.
Barry Friedman, a comedian who blogs at Friedman of the Plains, asks this question in the context of Barack Obama’s 2015 conversation with novelist Marilynne Robinson.
Here is a taste of Friedman’s piece:
Chronicled in two parts in the New York Review of Books, the conversation is not rushed, not formulaic, not fawning. The president, in fact, does most of the asking.
There’s all this goodness and decency and common sense on the ground, and somehow it gets translated into rigid, dogmatic, often mean-spirited politics. And some of it has to do with all the filters that stand between ordinary people who are busy and running around trying to look after their kids and do a good job and do all the things that maintain a community, so they don’t have the chance to follow the details of complicated policy debates…
Why bring up this 2015 interview now?
Because Donald Trump has no such approach to life — or governance. Rather than being awed by the things he doesn’t understand, he blames them, discounts them, ignores them, or claims special powers over them. Can you imagine him going to talk to a writer about books — imagine him with book — and asking about culture and direction and national mood, instead of barking about them? Can you imagine him trying to understand, to appreciate, to respect the 65,844,610 who didn’t vote for him? Can you imagine him trying to deconstruct the new 21st Century paradigm, not only for himself, but for the country?
Read the entire post here. (HT: Richard Bernstein, via FB)