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A Better Story To Tell


A Better Story To Tell

Arguing "those of us who believe in democracy and civil rights and a common humanity...have no choice but to move forward," President Obama delivered the 2018 Nelson Mandela Lecture to mark what would have been the anti-apartheid icon's 100th birthday. In a stirring tribute to Mandela's legacy and call to emulate it, Obama decried "those in power (who) seek to undermine every institution or norm that gives democracy meaning" without ever saying the "T" word.


Barack Obama was no Nelson Mandela!

Obama betrayed many of the principles Mandela fought for and he enabled supported many of the instruments of apartheid!

Obama’s “invitation to speak has drawn widespread criticism from South Africa’s civil society who say Obama’s record as president deems him unworthy of the honour of speaking at the late anti-apartheid icon’s birth centennial.”
“The former president has long been accused of neglecting to address poverty in the US, failing to hold Wall Street and the economic elite accountable, and expanding the US imperial footprint across the globe.”

Obama’s tenure and actions in office do not deserve the honor, and are nothing like the dedication, spirit, and astonishing courage of Nelson Mandela!


I never doubted Obama’s eloquence—in fact, it’s the only thing that distinguished him from Bush the Lesser.

South African civil society would have done much better to have offered the keynote address to Barbara Lee.


Hi GuildF312s,
I agree with you totally. V=Barbara Lee—the only one e who voted against the Bush debacle----------and Obama---- such a disappointment.
Received the Peace Prize… unusual as he had done nothing for it--------but after Bush, he had the hope and goodwill of the world. BUT, he took that Peace Prize and made a KILL LIST out of it. He’ll always be OH BOMBa to me. Hope and change----------some of us still have a bit of hope, but change? Just a handful of spare change in my pocket.

I am now having to amend Shakespeare" Some are born great, some have greatness thrust upon them, " UPDATED VERSION and some squander it all and leave a sad slogan behind.




I often wonder at the shear amount of hubris it would take for a man to approve an election slogan like Hope and Change with their own picture on it…when they never had any desire to give hope or make change. Obama gives a hell of a speech and damn if he doesn’t come off as a nice guy. But he replaced hope with bombs and change with Wall Street Bailouts. He was a sellout to the millions that voted for him and in the end created the very environment that allowed Trump to become President. God help us all. The man now goes around cashing in on his duplicity. The whole thing makes me ill. Everytime I hear someone pine of the days of Obama, I want to smack them in the kisser


I’m not sure that picking an American is the best thing to do at all. Someone like Malalai Joya might be a good choice.


Note to Common Dreams: A “better story to tell” would be the truth:

Here’s a good example: “Commander-in-Chief Donald Trump Will Have Terrifying Powers. Thanks, Obama.” https://theintercept.com/2016/11/11/commander-in-chief-donald-trump-will-have-terrifying-powers-thanks-obama/

Here’s another: “Pity the Sad Legacy of Barack Obama.” https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/09/barack-obama-legacy-presidency


It always the same. From Reagan to Bush to Obama , there always an attempt to make these Ex Presidents out to be something more then what they were in reality . All of them were about enriching the 1 percent and strengthening the Corporate States. All of them were about further entrenching Militarism and increasing the powers of the deep state.

Obama BELONGS in prison. See Yemen. See Libya.


yea, what was that hope thing that Obama kept talking about?


so true - but Obama was so symbolic as the first US president with African heritage. That was a great thing but comes off rather hollow when we look at many of his actions. Of course he was disrespected and stymied by the republicans but he still seem to pander to so much of the corporate, globalist, military-industrial agenda. In that regard, he did fit the mold of US presidents.


Even Mandela backtracked on many reforms that could have happened but then the global bankers would have cut him off. The people with the money are never going to allow the changes that are really needed.


Hey, Barack! For once, show some guts and actually call our Trump by name and get your elitist, neoliberal hands dirty. Spare us the move forward B.S. You wore out that con when you had your administration “move forward” and not hold any of Bush’s torturers accountable. You did it, again, when you had your administration “move forward” and refuse to prosecute any criminals on Wall Street and the big banks. Do the country a favor and just move on forward to your next high dollar speaking engagement and keep on moving forward till you’re out of sight.


“came to embody the universal aspirations of dispossessed people all around the world.”

Mandela did this, not Obama. Obama just bombed them.


This wasn’t about Africa only, it was more about America and Empire.

Finally, Obama went “Bulworth” — akin to Ike’s Jan '61 post-Presidential ‘outing’ of the MIC portion within this entire Disguised Global Capitalist Empire (behind our dual-Party Vichy facade of faux-democracy)!

The truth about the Democratic Party, whether Chris Hitchens in 2000, “The Democratic Party is not so much dead, as actually, rotting on the slab”, or whether in Warren Beatty’s insightful 1998 film “Bulworth”, where the fictional ‘truth-telling’ California Senator answered the black woman’s question in a South LA church of “are you sayin the Democratic Party don’t care about the African American community?” with the reply, "Isn’t that Obvious”

The “Empress-in-waiting” and NYT certified “War Hawk” [NYT Magazine ‘cover story’ Landler] effected the election. In our 10th “least worst voting” cycle we finally dropped below the surface, like a Nazi Uboat, and got our first fully certified American Emperor, Herr Trump. The ‘leader’ (Fuhrer in German) nominal ‘President’ Trump, along with the nominal Chancellor Hitler, were both actually the same type of megalomaniac, Empire-building, “Empire-thinking”, and virtually insane Roman Emperors who, as Tears for Fears sang "Want to rule the world”.

The ahistorical and deluded TV media of MSNBC, CNN, AND FOX are all a Twitter on what virtual Emperor Trump and Putin are going to secretly say in this unSummit — which, is, of course, how they’re going share playing Co-EMPERORS of the World. The interesting question we should ask is not how these twin co-Emperors will fool millions of their citizen/‘subjects’, but how they’re going to fool Xi Jinping. As all mothers of preschoolers know, "three don’t play well together”.

Obama today was all about criticizing Emperor Trump with everything but overtly calling him an Emperor (“Strong men”, “Authoritarian figures”, etc.) — and even more importantly it was about Obama warning America (and Americans) that the “two paths diverging in the woods” are clearly leading toward global (small ‘d’) democracy or Global ( big ‘E’) Empire.


The good Senator speaks the truth! "Now Say “No problem, Officer”…

Sen. Jay Billington Bulworth: Obscenity? The rich is getting richer and richer and richer while the middle class is getting more poor/ Making billions and billions and billions of bucks/ well my friend if you weren’t already rich at the start well that situation just sucks/cause the riches mother fucker in five of us is getting ninety fuckin eight percent of it/ and every other motherfucker in the world is left to wonder where the fuck we went with it/ Obscenity?/ I’m a Senator/ I gotta raise $10,000 a day every day I’m in Washington/ I ain’t getting it in South Central/ I’m gettin it in Beverly Hills/ So I’m votin from them in the Senate the way they want me too/ and-and-and I’m sending them my bills/ But we got babies in South Central dying as young as they do in Peru/ We got public schools that are nightmares/ We got a Congress that ain’t got a clue/We got kids with submachine guns/ We got militias throwing bombs/ We got Bill just gettin all weepy/ We got Newt blaming teenage moms/We got factories closing down/ Where the hell did all the good jobs go? Well, I’ll tell you where they went/My contributors make more profits makin, makin, makin, Hirin’ kids in Mexico/ Oh a brother can work in fast food/ If he can’t invent computer games/ But what we used to call America/ That’s going down the drains/How’s a young man gonna meet his financial responsibilities workin and motherfuckin Burger King? He ain’t! And please don’t even start with that school shit/ There aint no education going on up in that motherfucker/ Obscenity? We got a million brothers in prison/ I mean, the walls are really rockin/But you can bet your ass they’d all be out/If they could pay for Johnny Cochran/ The constitution is supposed to give them an equal chance/ Well, that ain’t gonna happen for sure/ Ain’t it time to take a little from the rich motherfucker and give a little to the poor? I mean, those boys over there on the monitor/ they want a government smaller and weak/ but the be speakin for the riches 20 percent when they pretend they’re defendin the meek/ Now, shit, fuck, cocksuker, that’s the real obscenity/ Black folks livin with every day/ Trying to believe a mothefuckin word Democrats and Republicans say/ Obscenity? I’m Jay Billington Bulworth And I’ve come to say/ The Democratic party’s got some shit to pay/ It’s gonna pay it in the ghetto/ It’s gonna pay it in the…


I wrote to Tom Steyer and suggested that the best use of his money might be to buy the rights to “Bulworth” and put it on TV several times per week for a month!

All the “Bulworth” video clips are every bit as accurate, insightful, timely, and Revolutionary as they were TWO effin decades ago in '98!!


After what this phony did to Neelon’s Pan Africa buddy Gaddafi hae should be ashamed to show his lyin face in South Africa


It’s a damn shame that a man who walked his talk against great and nasty opposition lens his name to a speech given by a con man who sold us change and worked assiduously to strengthen the gold the American Oligarchs have on us. The man who ended 800 years of common law since the Magna Carta should not be allowed to sully a man who fought for humanity.


I think he was hoping to cash in like the Clintons.