dkSez : : : : : : Don Kahle's blog

Quips, queries, and querulous quibbles from the quirky mind of Don Kahle

dkSez : : : : : : Don Kahle's blog random header image

Obama Can Separate Politics From Partisanship

September 26th, 2022 by dk

Barack Obama, your country needs you. Again.

As we rev up for midterm elections in November and then start the quadrennial primary season for 2024, citizens find themselves immersed in political messaging. Except this time we are having two political debates disguised as one.

Democrats are running against Republicans. These are healthy debates for a thriving democracy, always with a side helping of internecine battles within each party between centrists and purists.

We must reserve the label “extremist” for something new for America. The second debate is between those who believe our system of government is worth continuing, and those who would rather burn it down if they don’t get their way.

To be fair, we’ve had this second debate before. It’s been a lively debate here in Eugene, pitting anarchists against big business and government officials. But our local anarchists have the courage of their convictions. They don’t often run for public office, promising to tear it all down from the inside.

That’s what we’re seeing now. By some accounts, nearly half of the candidates chosen by the Republican party nationwide for November’s election refuse to accept the outcome of our last national election. They cling to their belief that the 2020 election was “stolen,” despite the fact that every attempt to independently prove their case has failed.

We will not convince them that they are wrong. The human psyche can protect itself from logic or reason. But those who believe the Big Lie do not constitute a majority of American citizens. Most estimate they comprise nearly a third of the electorate, but that’s nothing more than a guess. (These folks tend to lie to pollsters.)

We should be focused on and concerned about those who don’t approve of insurrectionist propaganda, but who grant that they do sometimes make good points. Voters in this vital middle third of the electorate may have voted for Obama, but haven’t warmed to Biden. Or maybe they didn’t vote for Obama, but think he did an OK job as president.

These people in the middle often agree with some conservative policy proposals, but they don’t like or understand the vitriol, the name-calling, the disrespect. In most cases, they just wish the volume could be turned down so everyone can get on with their lives.

This brings me to No-Drama Obama. He has gotten on with his life. He’s written his memoir. He’s started a media company. He won his second Grammy and his first Emmy. He never liked politics very much, even though he was very good at it.

But that’s not quite right. Obama has always loved politics, but he hates partisanship. Remember the “One America” speech he gave at the 2004 Democratic convention? His vision for a larger view of civic life thrust him onto the national stage.

Obama always preferred being above the fray, but the fray is growing at an alarming rate. His voice will calm the American psyche, soothe the soul that his former running mate fights for. Obama’s high-mindedness will offer counter-programming against the guttural goon squads, our homegrown extremists.

We need a philosopher-king to guide us through the tumult. Sensible conservatives from every state will gladly share the stage with Obama. George W. Bush will take his call. Mitt Romney will too.

Obama can remind people that our system of self-governance asks a lot from us. Voting is important — no matter who you vote for — but losing graciously is fully half of what has made our nation great.

Let the partisan squabbles continue as they always have. But this notion that our political system isn’t worth the trouble must be defeated resoundingly.


Don Kahle ( writes a column each Wednesday and Sunday for The Register-Guard and archives past columns at

Tags: No Comments

Leave A Comment

Are you human? *

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.