Farewells are always a bit ceremonial and hypocritical but, really, I don’t get all this last minute outpouring of good feelings for the leaving President of the United States. When Obama took the highest office 8 years ago, he ran on the platform of hope and change and to many he really looked like a breath of fresh air. I have to confess, I fell for it too But even a cursory look at Obama’s record shows not much change and speaks for betrayed hopes.
Obama is the President who won the Nobel Peace Prize but has put 1 trillion into building new nukes, in spite of nice proclamations, preconceived to go down into history as good gestures that would save humanity. By contrast the war presidents Bush father and Bush son made significant cuts to USA nuclear capabilities. Obama is the President who made war by joystick the preferred mode of engagement of the US involvement in many conflicts around the world, ordering drone strikes that killed nearly 7000 people: that’s sentencing people to death with no due process, in places where the US is not even officially engaged in war actions like Pakistan and Yemen. Last time I checked, that constitutes a human rights abuse, never mind the deaths of all those who were not the intended victims. Obama has had war in Libya, where no resolution was given for a full scale war or regime change: that’s war crime material. He has created a multitude of proxy wars across the globe, and has not kept his promise to shut Guantanamo. He supports the Saudis and has supplied the Israel is with more weapons than any previous administration. Oh, and remember also the plane full of money to Iran? Reagan got slaughtered for that. Where is the outrage?
Now of course everybody who considers himself a good, civilized and enlightened person is in horror about President elect Trump’s take on illegal immigrants but these every same people seem to conveniently forget that under Obama 3 million illegals have been kicked out of the country. Where is their outrage?
Obama has faked unemployment figures and has pushed for transnational trade agreements to the detriment of workers rights all across the world, he has been a king of neoliberalism. He has destroyed the balanced relationships with Russia and China, sending the US fleet to the East Pacific. Then there was the NSA scandal around Snowden, with the government spying on his own people. In two years the USA is expected to be struck by a debt crisis. And Obamacare, his revolutionary universal health insurance program, does not even come close to how the European mind fantasies about it.
There are more blacks in prison than at any other time, while certain crimes are down, probably due to the fact that large sections of society have been locked up against any notion of proportionality. While crimes such as mass shootings and crimes directed towards the state and its officials, the kind of crimes that are generated by social strains that suggest society is unwell, have risen beyond the dramatic. It’s an incredibly poor record.
What does any left leaning voter or liberal or social progressive welcome in all of that? Is it a question of liberal denial? Just as a provocative question: did Obama get away with murder because, as a the first black President, he was automatically turned into a liberal icon, made since beginning to gone down into history as one of the heroes of our time?