Barack Obama meets Jeremy Corbyn, April 2016. Photo: Wikimedia Commons Barack Obama meets Jeremy Corbyn, April 2016. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Barack Obama’s comments about Jeremy Corbyn expose how out of touch with reality American liberalism is, argues Ben Myers

Obama’s recent comments about Jeremy Corbyn betray his true guise, as a man without a principled bone in his body. His comments referring to Corbyn’s Labour as being ‘not grounded in reality’ are truly telling of the fact that this is a man who masquerades as a progressive force, but in truth, is a thinly veiled, reactionary, charlatan.

Compared to the principled and empathetic Corbyn, Obama is now a mere establishment puppet, with not one leg to stand on when it comes to criticising failed politicians. His is a man who was supposed to usher in a new era of ‘post-racial America’, and yet has done nothing to stop the systemic plight of African-Americans, or end the institutionalised racism they face. He has instead presided over a worsening of racial tensions in the US and managed minimal progress. The emergence of groups like Black Lives Matter is symptomatic of this failure.

According to the US Department of Labor, real hourly wage growth has remained under the levels of 1973, becoming completely stagnant over the course of Obama’s eight-year tenure – on this basis, he is arguably worse than Nixon. Is this the legacy left by a so-called man of the left? Complete stagnation of wages? There has been little concerted effort on his behalf to truly improve living conditions across America, more or less, individual states have had to carry Obama’s slack.

The idea that Obama can criticise Corbyn without being aware of his own rank hypocrisy is laughable. This is a man who was supposedly not an establishment figure at the start but has now become so absorbed in the egoistical quagmire of the political class.

On the other hand, Corbyn has always kept himself true to his principles and beliefs, whether the broader left agrees or not, and there is something admirable in that. Corbyn has been on the right side of history too many times to be simply written off a mad, or unreal. Time has shown Corbyn to have been correct on Iraq and Syria, perhaps more crucially Libya, Obama’s coup-de-grace of imperialist intervention.

Obama’s comments really show how it was that a man like Trump got into power. It shows the true American liberal in all its glory – they will not care about anything unless their wallets are to get lighter. It also shows that the Democrats are no longer a party of the working class, if they ever were. More so, that they now answer to private capital and multinational corporations, instead of the traditional power base such as automobile workers in Michigan.

It is this wilful ignorance that has left Obama a withering disappointment.