Obama: ‘strange things’ happen when voters are scared

Jason Reed/Reuters

Jason Reed/Reuters

ATHERTON, Calif. – President Barack Obama said Thursday that “strange things” can happen in politics when voters are scared and that the angst people are feeling across the country is finding voice in both the Republican and Democratic parties.

“We have to listen to that,” Obama said at a Democratic Party fundraiser at the San Francisco-area home of supporter and venture capitalist Steve Westly.

Obama commented two days after billionaire businessman Donald Trump rode that wave of voter anger at traditional politicians to a commanding win in New Hampshire’s Republican presidential primary. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders did the same in the state’s Democratic primary, trouncing longtime front-runner Hillary Clinton by double digits.

Obama said the country is at “an interesting political moment” but noted that it’s still early in the process for choosing the presidential nominees.

He said “what is true is that people are anxious” despite the economic and other progress since he took office seven years ago.

Obama said people remember the dire economic straits the country faced at the dawn of his presidency, when the economy was shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs per month and people were losing their homes and retirement savings. He said people are concerned about income inequality and labouring under a political system they believe works against their interests.

“That disquiet, that concern is expressing itself in the Republican Party as well as in the Democratic Party and we have to listen to that and we have to pay attention to that and be mindful of it,” Obama told several hundred people who paid up to $33,400 to attend the event held in the sloping backyard of Westly’s home in Atherton, California. “Because when people are scared, then strange things can happen in politics.”

“We can get a politics that is not about bringing people together but is about us and them and looking for somebody to blame,” Obama said.

He said the country never moves forward “when it’s based on us and them. It moves forward when it’s based on us. Period.”

Obama’s comments were aimed at ensuring Democrats don’t take anything for granted this fall, White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters on Air Force One after the fundraiser.

“When there is frustration in Washington, that animates the electorate,” Schultz said.

Obama sounded a similar theme at a fundraiser Thursday night in Los Angeles. He said to fight the fear “means that we’re going to have to have a Democrat in the White House after I’m gone to make sure that we continue the progress that we’ve made.”

Obama spent Thursday raising money for fellow Democrats at four events. Before arriving at Westly’s home, the president attended a private event in Palo Alto, California, that benefited the campaign arm for Democratic Senate candidates.

The president flew afterward to Los Angeles, where he attended two Democratic Party fundraisers, including one at the home of entertainment lawyer Aaron Rosenberg and his husband, Danny Rose, executive producer of “Scorpion.” Grammy Award-winning singer John Legend warmed up the crowd of about 340 people for Obama, who addressed supporters as Clinton and Sanders debated in Milwaukee.

While in Los Angeles, Obama taped an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” that’s scheduled to air Friday.


Obama: ‘strange things’ happen when voters are scared

  1. I think I’ve figured out something about human capital, voter capital, and it probably has future industrial WMD implications. Hamilton has striked too much. I guess after the Wpg General Strike, the workers got what they wanted. Now the city’s main problem is probably alcoholic mothers make alcoholic babies, and this problem might compound over time to make the city not the healthiest.
    Hamilton started off around the 1880s with the ideal of gender and race (black/UK) equality. This lasted until immigrants around the 1910s went for limited manufacturing jobs. Hamilton had many advantages but lost out on the finance sector to Toronto mostly. I looked for one bad strike. In 1936, they weren’t sure because it looked communist, but they let non-skilled workers join the skill Unions. To me this is guaranteed to lose your factory to Asia at some time. In the 1980s, they got really big benefits from steel only to watch the industry rapidly shrink. IDK if they got what they wanted pre-WW2, but they were already known as a Union city. In response to a labour issue, sometimes you have a diversified city, sometimes you need to better yourself and educate, sometimes you do need to strike. Hamilton never learned the skill of better yourself and blaming yourself. I’m not sure if it is this psychology, or if it is strike anger that makes it hard to educate, but that is why the mental illness rate is high there. It is two cities. Probably like an American city, the rich have moved uphill. Over time, they never wanted to give their poor a living wage. By the time of the 1980’s, clearly there was a need for a plastics hub or for moving to aluminum Que as steel was in permanent decline.
    I read a robots book and the American author never bothered to mention military robots might be hacked and shell their own army. The profit motive isn’t important over time. As robots get smaller, it will be hard to police them. The rich people in Hamilton never cared to give back to their community. They are like the 1983 robot book author. Probably robot infrastructures of the future, if built, should be built where people are socially responsible. I’m not sure if this means educating the workers a Utilitarian curriculum, the owners, or perhaps buying out the factory (Nationalizing) where the technology turns to nanotech and robots can build themselves, like in Screamers. The solution that was suggested is use the self-build capability to surveil. I assume this means at some tiny robot size, you cover the world with a quantum encrypted camera or sensor network; progressively using a large chunk of the manufacturing pie wedge for surveillance to prevent WMDs from being built. But I’m still learning.
    The upside is, B.Sanders seems to be angering voters rather than educating them. I’m not sure if this applies to health-care as Hillary is ignoring public payer options. But I know it applies the engendering the psychology of better oneself to make a better world. I think it means the next auto bailout should be to retool the factories to make machines that make quantumly encrypted fibre-optics or something like that. The formation of Social Credit is similar, advocating less gvmt when there wasn’t enough FDR or MacKay spending on the Prairies during the Great Depression. Canada’s oil owners in Oklahoma and Texas are laughing until the machines are hacked.

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