Speaking in Germany on Monday, President Barack Obama warned that a UK withdrawal from the EU might lead to a third world war and second Holocaust. Brexit’s supporters were cast as exploiters of “fears and frustrations” through “prejudice” and “bigotry,” Linking Euroskeptics to his domestic detractors, he described the two groups as xenophobic driven by hatred towards Muslims and homosexuals. The EU and broader post-WWII network of international institutions and bureaucracies, claimed Obama, were to be credited with preventing continental war in Europe since 1945.
Below are 6 pillars of Obama’s position
1. OBAMA’S OPPONENTS ARE RACISTS AND XENOPHOBES
Implying dissidents are animated by racism and xenophobia, Obama warned against the scapegoating of immigrants and Muslims. Sovereignist movements resisting the EU’s overriding of national sovereignty, Obama suggested, were threats to what he described as the essential post-WWII international order.
Unfortunately, in the vacuum, if we do not solve these problems, you start seeing those who would try to exploit these fears and frustrations and channel them in a destructive way. A creeping emergence of the kind of politics that the European project was founded to reject — an “us” versus “them” mentality that tries to blame our problems on the other, somebody who doesn’t look like us or doesn’t pray like us — whether it’s immigrants, or Muslims, or somebody who is deemed different than us.
2. THE RIGHT – NOT THE LEFT – REPRESENT THE WORST OF HUMANITY
Indirectly referencing the idiom of the squeaky wheel getting the oil, Obama neglected to highlight the growing classes of leftist malcontents dedicated to neo-Marxist agitation. In Obama’s view, the loudest voices are not his left-wing allies, but his right-wing detractors.
And you see increasing intolerance in our politics. And loud voices get the most attention. This reminds me of the poem by the great Irish poet W.B. Yeats, where the best lack all conviction, and the worst are full of passionate intensity.
3. EUROSCEPTICS ARE ANTI-DEMOCRATIC AUTHORITARIAN TRIBALISTS
Presenting himself and political allies as vanguards of democracy, Obama framed dissidents as regressive and intolerant tribalists pining for the return of a bygone era. His opponents are relics of the past, while his supporters represent the moral future.
If a unified, peaceful, liberal, pluralistic, free-market Europe begins to doubt itself, begins to question the progress that’s been made over the last several decades, then we can’t expect the progress that is just now taking hold in many places around the world will continue. Instead, we will be empowering those who argue that democracy can’t work, that intolerance and tribalism and organizing ourselves along ethnic lines, and authoritarianism and restrictions on the press — that those are the things that the challenges of today demand.
4. NATIONALISM WILL USHER IN RACIAL SEGREGATION OR ANOTHER HOLOCAUST
Casting Eurosceptics and nationalists as appealing to the worst aspects of the human condition, Obama again described them as racist and xenophobic, while this time adding contempt for homosexuals and religious bigotry to the mix of hatreds he ascribes to the right. The designs of the right, said Obama, placed humanity at risk for a collision course with another Holocaust. Muslims, said the president, were facing particularly acute threats.
So, yes, these are unsettling times. And when the future is uncertain, there seems to be an instinct in our human nature to withdraw to the perceived comfort and security of our own tribe, our own sect, our own nationality, people who look like us, sound like us. But in today’s world, more than any time in human history, that is a false comfort. It pits people against one another because of what they look or how they pray or who they love. And yet, we know where that kind of twisted thinking can lead. It can lead to oppression. It can lead to segregation and internment camps. And to the Shoah and Srebrenica.
In the United States, we’ve long wrestled with questions of race and integration, and we do to this day. And we still have a lot of work to do. But our progress allows somebody like me to now stand here as President of the United States. That’s because we committed ourselves to a larger ideal, one based on a creed — not a race, not a nationality — a set of principles; truths that we held to be self-evident that all men were created equal. And now, as Europe confronts questions of immigration and religion and assimilation, I want you to remember that our countries are stronger, they are more secure and more successful when we welcome and integrate people of all backgrounds and faith, and make them feel as one. And that includes our fellow citizens who are Muslim.
5. BORDER SECURITY IS IMMORAL
As if calls for great border security in light of a massive influx of tens of millions of illegal entrants into America, Europe, and the broader West are akin to the division of Germany during the Cold War, Obama chastised “barriers to keep people out.”
In Germany, more than anywhere else, we learned that what the world needs is not more walls. We can’t define ourselves by the barriers we build to keep people out or to keep people in. At every crossroads in our history, we’ve moved forward when we acted on those timeless ideals that tells us to be open to one another, and to respect the dignity of every human being.
6. DIVERSITY IS A SOURCE OF STRENGTH, NOT FRICTION
Praising candlelight vigils across Europe following mass murder attacks by Islamic terrorists in cities like Paris and Brussels, Obama called for more “understanding,” “dialogue,” and “humanity.” Paradoxically, Obama praised the diversity brought into Europe with irresponsible immigration and refugee policies exacerbated by weak border controls and the dominant left-wing ethos of “multiculturalism.”
And you are the Parisians who, later this year, plan to reopen the Bataclan. You’re the people of Brussels, in a square of flowers and flags, including one Belgian who offered a message — we need “more.” More understanding. More dialogue. More humanity. That’s who you are. United, together. You are Europe — “United in diversity.” Guided by the ideals that have lit the world, and stronger when you stand as one.
Obama made no mention of greater centralization of economic and political power as a threat to human freedom and prosperity. Not a word was uttered of excessive regulation or taxation of markets. Also ignored were the threats to cultural cohesion and preservation of liberal values posed by the admission of tens of millions of illiberal foreigners into the West.
Watch the entire speech here.
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