Charles Barkley and the 2016 Presidential Election
Charles Barkley’s gave CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield a rather stark assessment of the 2016 Presidential election in terms which was refreshing coming from an athlete. He showed an awareness that has been lacking from him and many of his ilk who have a large following. The fact that he shows an interest even though admittedly these elections have very little real material impact on rich people like him or the very wealthy.
Barkley said that he felt sadness for the current state of the 2016 presidential race. “I am so lucky and blessed that it doesn’t have a big deal or effect upon my life who is going to be the president,” Barkley said. “But I feel bad for the American people because what politics in America have become — first of all it is the greatest country in the world — but it has become about rich people screwing poor people. Poor people in this country don’t have the same economic opportunity. They are not in the same neighborhoods. They don’t have the same schools. So I just feel sad because their job as a politician is to take care of the people. So I feel sadness more than anything how they are dividing us.”
Even though Barkley points out that he generally votes for the Democratic ticket, he says that he likes Republican John Kasich. “He is one of the few Republicans that talked about economic opportunity,” Barkley said. “I can say everyone wants to talk about Republican, Democrat, black, white. It is really about giving poor people economic opportunity. America has done an awful job of taking care of people.”
When asked if he liked any of the Democrats, Charles said he does not dislike them nor does he have anything bad to say about them. He says simply that they do not inspire him. When asked about Donald Trump inspiring a lot of people, he pointed out that what is great about America is that one can say anything they want to say. “We are a much better country together than separate,” Barkley said. “We have made this thing about rich against poor, black against white, white against Hispanic, and that’s not the way the greatest country should operate.”
While it is great that Barkley seems to understand the cancer afflicting our politics, he should dig deeper into both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton’s platforms. He may not be inspired. As a grown man, he need not be inspired about a candidate. He needs to evaluate whether a candidate’s policies will improve the life of the poor and middle-class or be a detriment. It is not about inspiration but policy application.