With this, the former president, who continues to have enormous influence in the Democratic Party and voiced support for the protesters after the death of George Floyd, takes a firm stance on a controversial sentence that separates Democrats and speaks to the party’s more liberal wing and elected President Joe Biden’s calls for moderate progress.
“If you think, like me, that we need to be able to reform the criminal justice system so that it is not biased and treats everyone fairly, then I think you can use a striking slogan like‘ Defund The Police ’, but you know, in that the minute he said he lost a large audience, which is much less likely to actually make the changes he wanted, ”Obama told Peter Hamby on Snapchat’s“ Good Luck America ”when asked what advice he had from an activist who believes in the use of the slogan, although politicians are likely to avoid it.
“But if you’d rather say, ‘Let’s reform the police station so that everyone is treated fairly, you know, divert young people from crime, and if there was a homeless guy, maybe we can send a mental health worker there armed unit, which can result in tragedy?’ Suddenly, a lot of people are listening to you who can’t listen to you otherwise. ”
Obama, who said earlier that he will not withdraw the police, says the most important thing is for activists to decide if they want to do something or if they feel good among the people they agree with.
“And if you want to achieve something in a democracy, in a country as big and diverse as ours, you need to be able to meet people where they are,” he said, and “play addition and not subtraction.”
Other top Democrats, including South Carolina’s Biden and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, said they were in favor of changing law enforcement practices, but warned that this sentence, which usually calls for some redirection of police funding to social welfare programs, could be detrimental. the movement and the party. Several progressive people, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Republican, have repeated this term.
The 44th President also gave a glimpse of how progressive and moderate Democrats can work together during the upcoming Biden presidency, noting that the party needs to “talk about doing certain things” instead of labels and ideology. He called socialism the “uploaded term” and offered a messaging strategy to Democrats that could appeal to people, especially those who are young.
“Both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders agree with raising the minimum wage. No one really cares about the label. They care that it’s important to a lot of young and a lot of older people,” he said. “My advice to the Democratic Party tells a story. Because people my age, young people, people don’t usually listen to a lot of political analysis.”
Obama went on to say that people are driven by stories that are “related to their own lives,” not ideology, adding that “promoting youth is really important” when it comes to the Democratic Party.
“We’ll cling to the same old people for so long and not allow room for new voices,” he said.
CNN Manu Raju contributed to the report.