Before Labor Day Of His First Year, Trump Has Already Made Obama Look Rushmore-Worthy By Comparison
A presidential legacy is often a tricky perspective that tends to evolve (or, devolve) over time. As society moves further away from an administration, history has the gift of hindsight to examine not only the actions and accomplishments of any given president, but the causal impact that they had on America and the world years, decades and even centuries later. But like the rest of our so-called conventional wisdom, this idea too appears to have been disregarded as we come to grips with the fact that Donald Trump is the 45h President of the United States. His immediate predecessor, Barack Obama, has seen his legacy strengthened and bolstered significantly while we’re still less than a year into the Trump regime.
Here are merely a few of the reasons why…
Nine months into his seventh year, President Obama had the unenviable task of helping the nation heal its oldest wounds when a white supremacist opened fire at a bible study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC. Six months into his first term, Trump faced a similar duty when a white supremacist intentionally drove into a crowd of anti-bigotry demonstrators in Charlottesville, VA, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. The difference between the two reactions could not possibly be starker.
Obama attempted to heal and bridge the divide, assuring America that, as he has often said, the issues that unite us are stronger than the issues that divide us. Leading a congregation at a memorial service for the slain in the singing of the spiritual “Amazing Grace” was among the forty-fourth president’s finest moments.
Juxtapose that against Trump’s reaction to the Charlottesville tragedy, where he argued that “good people” were marching along side Nazis and white supremacists, and “both sides” were to blame for the conflict:
The message from Trump was clear: don’t look to the White House for any guidance during a national tragedy or disaster. Not exactly reassuring as Hurricane Season approaches.
There is a long, bipartisan tradition dating back to the end of the Second World War of our Commanders-In-Chief drawing a hard line with Moscow. Harry Truman confronted the Soviet Foreign Minister before the war even ended, setting the tone for future presidents in the fight against communism. The Eisenhower Doctrine guaranteed the resources of the United States to any nation seeking to stave off a Soviet threat. President Kennedy valiantly guided America through the Cuban Missile Crisis. Every president until the end of the Cold War took an aggressive stand against the Russian government.
Barack Obama was the first post-Berlin Wall President to impose new sanctions on the Kremlin. Additionally, when it became clear to everyone outside of Trump Tower that Russia interfered in the 2016 Presidential election, Obama enacted even harsher sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s regime, saying in January:
“Russia’s cyberactivities were intended to influence the election, erode faith in US democratic institutions, sow doubt about the integrity of our electoral process, and undermine confidence in the institutions of the US government. These actions are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
Trump, on the other hand, had to be dragged kicking and screaming to sign off on a new sanctions bill that passed the Senate 98-2 and the House 419-3. And of course, we still don’t know the full scope of his personal relationship with the Russian government.
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Over 70 years of universally accepted skepticism towards Moscow has suddenly changed, which would be fine if Russia had become a thriving beacon of human rights and democracy.
Unfortunately, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
3. ‘Nobody Knew That Healthcare Could Be So Complicated’
Donald Trump seemed genuinely surprised that reforming healthcare in America was no easy job. Which is funny, because just about every president since the birth of modern medicine has struggled to implement or change the way Americans receive medical treatment.
President Obama spent almost all of his political capital on the Affordable Care Act. “Obamacare” as it would come to be known, was never considered to be the cure-all for a broken insurance system. Yet despite consistent criticism, erroneous myths and blatant scare tactics, the ACA has brought the rate of uninsured Americans to a record low. Which was the goal all along.
Trump campaigned on repealing Obamacare “on day one“. It took over 100 days for the House to finally repeal the act, but that died in the Senate. Twice.
Furthermore, an overwhelming majority of Americans opposed both Senate attempts to kill the ACA. The Congressional Budget Office estimated over 22 million citizens would lose their health insurance. It was a disaster.
Of course, Trump had nothing to add. He simply guaranteed that Congress would give the people “beautiful healthcare“. At one point it appeared as if the president was legitimately confused on the difference between health insurance and life insurance.
But, he makes the best deals.
4. Scandal Overload
Presidential scandals range from the mundane, such as Grover Cleveland’s fathering a so-called “illegitimate” child, to the unrecoverable, like Watergate. Trump seems to find a way to work himself into a scandal on a near-weekly basis. There’s Russia and all of its tentacles. Who has already forgotten his disgusting, misogynistic commentary about Mika Brzezinski? The forced resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. The short-lived era of “The Mooch“. The president’s ongoing battle with his Attorney General. His handling of Charlottesville.
This administration is a scandal factory.
But Obama was not without scandal either, to be fair.
He once wore a tan suit.
He put mustard on a burger.
He gave Michelle a “fist bump”.
He saluted a Marine while holding a cup of coffee.
5. The Never Ending Campaign
Donald Trump has held seventeen campaign rallies since election day. Eight of them were after the inauguration. Barack Obama didn’t hold the first campaign rally of his presidency until May of his fourth year in office.
RELATED: Trump Holds Frightening Campaign Rally, Completely Loses It Over ‘Fake Media&’ (VIDEO)
There’s a reason president’s don’t regularly take their show on the road. First and foremost, the presidency itself is a rather demanding job. Time dedicated to arranging, promoting and attending campaign events is undisputably time that is not being spent doing the job the citizenry sent you to do.
More importantly, aside from a small, psychotic group of people like myself, Americans generally tire quickly of presidential campaigns and the coverage they draw. By the time the party conventions come around every four years, the people are already suffering from campaign fatigue.
What possibly could make Trump think that the general public has an appetite for his self-congratulatory, excessive and misleading campaign events on a continual basis? It’s yet another example of how he’s dismantled all decorum, gravitas, and tradition that was slowly and, for the most part, honorably, built by forty-four men over the course of almost two hundred thirty years.
The American people didn’t ask for this. Can we please have President Obama back?
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