As we prepare to close out 2016, it’s tempting to reflect on many of the reasons why Donald Trump was elected president — specifically, to address failures of President Obama to offer the kind of “hope and change” he’d promised voters before taking office eight years ago.
In fact, Obama made a lot of promises then that ultimately weren’t kept as well as delivering many legislative surprises that voters hadn’t expected. When conservatives and media pundits called him out on his misdeeds, he continually smiled and gave press conferences to talk about fudged numbers, military debacles and endless “victories” in the dubious category of social justice.
There were times when it seemed that if Obama could have found a way to bring a million transgender ISIS terrorists in favor of affirmative action into the country, he would have signed as many executive orders as it would have taken to accomplish such a feat.
At times, it was difficult to figure out exactly which constituency Obama felt like he was serving with his speeches, his initiatives, his cabinet appointments and his military actions. To be sure, Obama toed the Democratic Party line on many issues, including allowing federal funding for abortion, protecting Planned Parenthood, disallowing oil drilling on federal property, blocking the Keystone pipeline and pushing gun control bills.
But in other areas, Obama took the presidential ball and ran with it, as when he intervened militarily in Libya, Syria, Somalia, Pakistan and Yemen. Rather than discontinue some unsavory practices of the Bush administration such as drone strikes and surveillance of American citizens, he expanded on them and made his administration far more opaque to the press despite vows to the contrary early in his tenure.
His promise to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba was as worthless as the one made to Obamacare enrollees that they’d be able to keep their physicians after the program rolled out.
And when Obamacare did roll out, it was a disaster, with its $5 billion website crashing from Day 1, resulting in angry enrollees who ultimately were shocked to discover that their health care premiums had skyrocketed instead of decreased. In fact, it’s common knowledge that Obamacare is prohibitively expensive except in cases of catastrophic care, and we all know how common those are.
It’s telling that not one Republican voted for either Obamacare or Obama’s 2009 $787 billion stimulus bill. Rather than blithely surpassing the debt ceiling, Republicans chose to shut down the government in 2013 in an effort to rein in Obama’s and the Democrats’ spending.
Voters watched in horror as the government bailed out Wall Street institutions such as AIG (which promptly turned around and gave almost all its bailout money in bonuses to employees) and automakers Chrysler and GM. Only one major banker was sent to prison during Obama’s two terms despite vast numbers of Wall Street scandals, frauds and cases of waste.
To make matters worse, Obama encouraged banks to start making subprime loans again to minority borrowers — as if the entire financial crisis of 2008 never happened!
In 2012, 2014 and 2015, the cases of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Freddie Gray outraged America, but rather than attempting to propose solutions or renew policing efforts, Obama fanned the flames of racial controversy and got behind social justice groups such as Black Lives Matter. Instead of helping racism and racial issues to wither away, Obama seems content to draw attention to them and keep Americans divided.
Obama ramped up the number of troops in Afghanistan not just once, but twice and stood idly by as more American soldiers died there than during the administration of President George W. Bush. Obama increased military intervention to the point whereby at the end of his tenure, the U.S. was bombing no less than seven countries, nearly doubling the nation’s debt through his unending commitments to seemingly interminable conflicts.
At the same time, Obama seemed to be in love with Islam. His first presidential interview was with Al Arabiya television. He gave a speech in Cairo, Egypt where he promised to “deepen ties'” with global Muslim communities.
He pledged to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees to the U.S., even in the face of ISIS-related attacks in San Bernardino, California and Orlando, Florida. When mass shootings occurred in Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut, he tried to ban assault weapons and expand background checks, both of which would have had a negligible effect on shootings elsewhere.
And when terrible ISIS-related violence occurred worldwide — whether in the U.S. or not — Obama seemed to have a verbal prejudice against using the words “Islamic terror,” no matter how many people had died or how horribly. Even when an American such as journalist James Foley was beheaded by ISIS in August 2014, Obama scarcely took time off from his golf game to make a statement to the press.
Obama was happy to appoint gaffe-prone John Kerry to be his Secretary of State in the wake of the walking fiasco that was Hillary Clinton. Clinton was all too happy to use her office to craft deals for herself and her husband and grease the wheels for her own presidential run in 2016 but through her own negligence got U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens killed.
Kerry didn’t do much better, signing the noxious Iranian nuclear deal on behalf of Obama, who trumpeted that “key parts of the [Iranian nuclear] program will be held back.” Left unsaid was how bad the terms were for the U.S. and how many cash ransom payments for U.S. hostages would be necessary to consummate the deal.
Obama stayed committed to his immigration policies even when federal judges shot down his orders, such as his planned deferment of four million scheduled immigrant deportations in Texas in 2015. Immigrants seemed nearly to be Obama’s favorite demographic group, perhaps second only to the transgendered, to whom he seemed endlessly devoted.
At least the latter people can vote legally (although that didn’t stop Obama from encouraging illegals to participate as well in the most recent presidential election). Given his enormous commitment of support for transgendered persons, one might be forgiven for thinking that they make up more than one hundredth of one percent of the U.S. population; but no, that’s not the case, unless the White House houses one or two we don’t know about!
As Obama’s time in office wore on, people began to see through his spin, his exaggerations and his lies, which GOP Representative Joe Wilson memorably called him out on (famously yelling out “You lie!”) during a 2009 speech Obama gave to a joint session of Congress.
Obama’s approval rating dropped to as low as 40 percent in 2014 as people realized that despite Obama’s sunny talk of the economy getting better and unemployment being reduced that they had even less money in their pockets, and those people who had found work often were toiling in low-paying service-sector jobs, instead of the industrial or productivity positions they’d formerly been employed in.
And so, for all of these reasons and many more, Americans clearly felt it was time to change course for the better. Over the much-better-funded and organized campaign of Hillary Clinton, voters elected Donald Trump, who’s clearly shown he’s ready to actually enact the positive changes that Obama promised but failed to deliver.
Trump wants to deeply cut Obama’s wasteful spending, military adventurism, outrageous overtures to illegal immigrants and giveaways of good jobs and good money to overseas companies. He wants to put America on the right track again, even if it means protectionist and nationalist measures. Those aren’t dirty words if they mean higher wages and better trade for all Americans.
Hopefully, Obama will become nothing but a bad memory, despite any of his attempts to create a “shadow government” to harass Trump’s administration over the next four years as some commentators have claimed he’s preparing to do.
Even before Trump has taken office, he’s shown that he’s committed to helping the American people vis à vis deals such as the one he made at air conditioner manufacturer Carrier in Indianapolis, Indiana, which saved more than 1,000 jobs.
In short, Trump is the real hope and change people have been seeking, and he comes not a moment too soon at this crucial time in American history when the people, the infrastructure and the economy are crying out for positive improvement.