There is something about history that reduces tragedy to triviality. We remember Conquerors and Emperors, who were responsible for the deaths of thousands, sometimes millions, as great men. The argument is that these people lived in a truly alien time, a time when war was glorious and conquest noble.
But it is an attitude that persists. Even George Bush Jr, who left office less than a decade ago, doesn’t seem like that bad of a bloke nowadays. And with Trump in office, people have a tendency to think of Barack Obama in an unrealistic and positive light.
‘Obama. Hope. Change we believe in.’
What change did Obama bring in though? Was he ever anything more than a pawn of the status quo? Did Obama’s failed promise wet the American voter’s appetite for change but fail to satisfy it? Is he the reason for Trump’s anti-establishment popularity?
We’ve compiled a list of things to remind readers that Obama, like Bush before him, wasn’t actually that great of a President. Not to cast Trump in a positive light but because Obama’s follies are of big consequence, not only to the freedom and wellbeing of Americans but to everyone in the world.
Continued up the War on Terror, the War he Promised to End
“I promise you this: If we have not gotten our troops out by the time I’m President, it is the first thing I will do. I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to this war.” – Obama, 2007.
Ten years and two terms of Obama as President and near 10,000 American troops remain in Afghanistan. As do thousands others from the US’s allies.
Failed to Close Guantanamo Bay
“I will keep working to shut down the prison at Guantanamo. It is expensive, it is unnecessary, and it only serves as a recruitment brochure for our enemies,” – Obama, 2016.
The infamous prison where people from all around the world, including Australia’s David Hicks, were tortured remains open despite Obama’s supposedly strong feelings about the complex.
Defended the NSA Spying, Vilified Edward Snowden & Cracked Down on Whistle Blowers
The Obama administration prosecuted more people under the 1917 Espionage Act than every other president combined. What else is there to say?
Enhanced the NSA Spying
On Obama’s last day as President, he increased the already-unlawful powers of the USA’s various intelligence agencies, granting 17 different intelligence groups the ability to attain and share people’s personal information without a warrant. On his literal last day in office, when anything he might have done was eclipsed by the coming of Donald Trump. What other reasons, besides Obama being a pawn for some behind-the-scenes power, would he have had to do this?
Did Nothing to Rectify the Plight of America’s Black Population
Police profiling. Gang warfare. Rampant drug use. High rates of illiteracy. All symptoms of a much greater socio-economic problem that Obama did absolutely nothing to solve. You would have thought that the first black President of the United States of America would have at least tried…