Obama: America Has a History of ‘Great Smugness’ Obama: America Has a History of ‘Great Smugness’ – NTK Network

Obama: America Has a History of ‘Great Smugness’

"You had this period of great smugness on the part of America and American elites thinking, 'We got this figured out.'”

By NTK Staff | 11.28.2018 @1:41pm

Former President Barack Obama said that America has had a history of “great smugness” while discussing identity politics at Rice University’s Baker Center on Tuesday.

“We did not adapt quickly enough to the fact that there were people being left behind, and that frustrations were going to flare up, and that all of these changes that were happening were happening really quick, and you had to address them and speak to them,” Obama said.

“In those environments, you then start getting a different kind of politics. You start getting politics that’s based on, ‘That person’s not like me, and it must be their fault,'” Obama continued. “You start getting the politics based on a nationalism that’s not pride and country, but hatred for somebody on the other side of the border.”

Obama added that this kind of politics “does not allow for compromise.”

Former White House chief of staff to President George H.W. Bush, James Baker, interjected that what Obama was referring to is known as “identity politics.”

Obama elaborated on how he believed identity politics originated with “folks who said, three-fifths clause and all that stuff.”

“So, part of what’s happened is that when people feel their status is being jostled and threatened, they react,” Obama continued.

“What I would agree with is that the Washington consensus, whatever you want to call it, got a little too comfortable with — they are looking at GDP numbers and looking at the Internet and everything is looking pretty great, particularly after the Cold War,” Obama said. “You had this period of great smugness on the part of America and American elites thinking, ‘We got this all figured out.’”

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