After staying almost completely silent since President Trump’s election, former president Barack Obama recently emerged to criticize nationalism and run damage control for a floundering Democratic Party. Two weeks ago, during a speech at an event in Johannesburg commemorating Nelson Mandela, Obama tacitly criticized Trump through criticism of nationalism and “strongman politics.” He also shilled for the Democratic Party vision of America in his speech, saying, “I believe in Nelson Mandela’s vision, I believe in a vision shared by Gandhi and King and Abraham Lincoln, I believe in a vision of equality and justice and freedom and multi-racial democracy based on a premise that all people are created equally.” Even though “multi-racial democracy” is proving to be a failure everywhere in the Western world, the Democrats have invested heavily in it, and need it to work—or at least work well enough for them to win elections.
That’s where Obama can help. With the crucial midterm elections coming up and the Democrats undergoing an internal civil war, he has been enlisted to pull the party back together. On Wednesday, Obama released a list of 81 endorsements. The endorsements (mostly for House and state elections) attempted to tip-toe the line between the mostly White and Jewish establishment and the insurgent non-White left-wing of the party. He endorsed several non-White candidates at the state level, but stuck to mostly establishment candidates, especially in the higher profile races. The only Senate endorsement made was for Rep. Jacky Rosen, an establishment candidate running against incumbent Republican Dean Heller in Nevada, a state which Trump lost. Notably absent from the list was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the new brown socialist star of the party. However, Obama touted its diversity in a statement, calling the candidates, “as diverse, patriotic, and big-hearted as the America they’re running to represent.”
As the first Black president, Obama is in a unique position to be able to mend fences between the establishment and the rising non-White tide. With a popular brown face telling them to back mostly establishment candidates, the Democrat establishment hopes that most of the non-Whites in the party will fall in line. Right now, the coalition of the ascendant is off the reservation, and Obama is trying to bring them back in time for the midterms.
Obama’s office stated that he intends to campaign in the fall and will release a second round of endorsements. Look for him to become increasingly involved as the Democrat establishment tries to keep the sinking party afloat and tries to maintain control of the burgeoning brown wave that is threatening to tear it apart.