For over a year and a half, the world has been bombarded with news concerning business tycoon-turned-politician Donald Trump. Once he won the November 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, the trend of him dominating news media coverage didn’t slow down. In fact, numerous sites – from BuzzFeed to CNN – made it a personal mission to destroy his character and criticize his executive orders at every opportunity. And unless one sticks to purely Conservative websites or stations such as FOX News, they will rarely hear anything positive about the President.
While there is no shortage of topics to scrutinize when it comes to President Trump and his administration’s promises, it isn’t fair for half of the country to pin him as ‘Cheetoh Satan’ when comparing him to former President Barack Obama. That’s because Obama is far from the saint Liberals paint him to be.
In an effort to remain objective, this author would like to point out a few successes of Obama’s two terms in office. When the former President was sworn in, the country was losing about 600,000 jobs a month. By the time he left the White House, it is estimated that he helped create 15 million more jobs, according to TIME. Additionally, Obama can be credited with helping capture Osama Bin Laden (which is a controversial topic in itself), which helped boost morale and a sense of security in the United States. Last, though not least, Barack and Michelle presented an iconic level of class during their stay at the White House, and it should be a celebrated fact that no scandals were reported during the entire eight-year period.
For these reasons and a handful more, he is celebrated by many who identify as ‘Liberal’ voters. They are the same voices who marched in the thousands the day after Trump’s inauguration and continue to paste #NotMyPresident when venting on social media. President Trump is not without his faults, but there is a hypocrisy to claiming that Obama’s two terms were “the good ol’ days,” especially considering the number of horrendous acts he perpetuated while in office.
To begin with, Obama is responsible for dropping more than 26,000 bombs in foreign soil – in 2016 alone. He can also claim credit for destabilizing and destroying the very countries that many victims of war are fleeing – such as Syria. Let’s not forget, either, that it was Obama who simultaneously approved arms sales to terror groups and dictatorships while expanding the war on Terror.
In reality, it would seem as if Obama was taking over for Republican George W. Bush. Barack expanded Bush’s drone war which resulted in thousands of people being killed without trial. Additionally, many of those who were killed in drone strikes, in countries such as Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, and Afghanistan, were civilians whose only “crime” was being born in a country being ‘freed’ (don’t miss the sarcasm) by the United States.
Few Americans are aware that Obama gave Israel an astonishing paycheck of $6 billion in military aid – more than any other administration in U.S. history. That support emboldened the apartheid colony, as MintPressNews points out.
A war on whistleblowers was also created during Obama’s presidency. Eight prosecutions occurred under the 1917 Espionage Act – more than double those under all previous administrations combined.
Though the title of ‘President’ has always been evolving, since before the Constitution was even ratified, Obama took unprecedented charge when he expanded executive powers to be able to declare war unilaterally. Essentially, this means the President doesn’t need congressional approval.
Obama, as well, did everything in his power to expand Bush’s surveillance state until he left office. In tribute to Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers, do not forget that the former President’s secret court system, known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, enabled his administration to ignore a federal court ruling that found bulk surveillance illegal.
There is no shortage of controversy when it comes to the Trump administration. The President still hasn’t addressed the bigotry and xenophobia he built his campaign on, the administration gave the ‘greenlight’ to the Dakota Access Pipeline, and his executive order to put a blanket ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries (nations that have been a target of U.S. imperialism and destabilization for more than 30 years) was anything but well-received. However, as elaborated above, much of what many might claim to be ‘executive overreach’ is an extension of what took place during both Bush and Obama’s terms in office.
As Mnaw Muhawesh points out, it doesn’t matter if a Republican or Democrat is in office. After all, the policies from both parties look the same. What matters is that citizens recognize the illusion of division within the country and acknowledge that many of the tools at Trump’s disposal were put there by former administrations, especially Obama.
If true, effective change is to take place, Americans must recognize that their strength is in unity and direct their frustration toward the seemingly limitless power of those in office. Until then, the hateful bickering between ‘Liberals’ and ‘Conservatives’ will do nothing more than distract the masses while those ‘behind the scenes’ enact their plans. It’s your choice.
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