Retired professional basketball player Charles Barkley shared some pretty candid thoughts on today’s current political climate and politics in general, reports the Guardian. The NBA Hall of Famer called out both Republicans as well as Democrats, saying that the game of politics is simply the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, he said during the NCAA basketball tournament media day on Tuesday this week.
Charles Barkley says that conservatives have always had a knack for “dividing and conquering,” making minorities in this country (black and Hispanic) as well as poor white people create conflict with one another. Charles goes on to say that the issue isn’t a racial one, but rather, the problem has always been those with wealth against those who are in low-income families.
“All politics is rich people screwing poor people. Poor people are too stupid to know they’re just chess pieces in a game. All the poor white people, all the poor black people, all the Hispanics, they’re in the same boat. They’ve got no economic opportunities. They spend all their time blaming each other because rich people throw words at them like illegal immigration and racism and things like that. If poor people ever get smart, and realize: ‘We should band together, rise up, instead of fighting each other,’ we probably can make a difference.”
Charles Barkley doubles down on his harsh criticism of Republicans, writing off illegal immigration and feeling more bothered by the fact that American jobs are going overseas. Barkley criticized any “poor white person” who feels the need to blame Hispanics for the fact that they cannot find a job. He says that this is a sentiment that Republicans are very well-versed at manipulating and taking advantage of.
Donald Trump has helped push this tactic, according to Charles Barkley, pointing out his controversial statements about the Hispanic community as well as the Muslim community. Barkley makes it very clear that he is pretty fed-up with the current political climate, but confirms that whoever the next President of the United States will be, his life won’t change at all. Charles will still be prosperous and wealthy. He hasn’t openly stated who he is supporting in the presidential race, but he tends to lean left when election time comes.
“The whole thing has turned me off because it’s gotten to the point where I watched the last eight years of Barack [Obama],” Charles Barkley said. “The Republicans disagree with every single thing he says. I feel bad for the American people. It is going to have zero effect on my life who the president is. I’ll be rich either way.”
Charles Barkley could have had a life in politics years ago, if he had gone through with running for office in the state of Alabama. Specifically, Charles Barkley thought about running for Governor, reports ESPN. Alabama’s Democratic Party chairman, Joe Turnham, seemed to welcome the idea with open arms, saying the life of Barkley has been a “Horatio Alger story” for millions of Americans. Jim Seroka, a political science professor at Auburn University, on the other hand, was fairly skeptical of Barkley’s ambition, clarifying that he did not have the necessary support/fan base that one would need to win elected office.
In 1995, Charles Barkley was considering running even then, as a Republican, though that never happened. Barkley identified as a conservative until he began to see a very large disconnect between himself and the Republican party.
[Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images]