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Editorial: In America’S ‘Darkness’ Trump Is A Symptom Not The Cause

IT has never been clear why US President Donald Trump appears to so despise his elegant predecessor. Perhaps it’s because Barack Obama so epitomises everything Trump isn’t. Obama was inspirationally articulate. His election caused the United States to soar. Americans have seldom felt so good about themselves in recent decades as when they chose him to lead the nation. In stark contrast, for many Americans, Trump’s shocking victory in 2016 led to a profound despair from which they have not yet recovered.

Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. World leaders, excepting possibly Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un, cannot witness soon enough Trump’s departure from the world stage. Some feel the current president is simply jealous of the high regard in which his predecessor is still held in world popular opinion.

No one with compassion can favour Trump over his predecessor. Obama’s signature achievement, the Affordable Care Act, that aims to reduce some of the entrenched, institutionalised bias against poor people in America, is completely antithetical to the greedy pro-rich policies Trump has favoured.

There are those who feel the reason for Trump’s disregard is much more simple. They believe Trump is, at his core, racist. Even before his election, Trump is reported to have been routinely discriminatory toward various minorities, but toward blacks in particular.

Trump’s ignorant and shameful response to the white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last year did seem to reveal at the very least a significant insensitivity toward matters of race. And who can forget the nonsense of birtherism that Trump so enthusiastically championed?

No national figure since the reprehensible Alabama governor George Wallace has so openly appeared to sympathise with and pander to the most base levels of American society as has the current president.

From his inauguration, when Trump began immediately to lie to the American people in claiming his crowds dwarfed Obama’s inaugural throngs, Trump has sought to compete against Obama. It is almost as if he knows he will fall short in virtually any comparison, so why not attack Obama and his record at every turn?

In America’s ‘darkness’

As if to underscore his virtue in the face of such gratuitous assaults, Obama has adopted a markedly restrained posture since reluctantly turning over the keys to the White House. Such had been the practice for former presidents for many years. Obama’s own predecessor, George W Bush, very rarely rose to criticise Obama even as his Republican party savaged him at every turn. Bill Clinton and George HW Bush formed a respectful alliance around issues both strongly supported.

Now, though, as the pivotal November elections loom large on the American political horizon less than eight weeks away, Obama appears to have emerged from his self-imposed political silence.

In a recent speech, Obama likened Trump to foreign demagogues who pursue “politics of fear and resentment and retrenchment” while plundering the countries they lead. Obama said America is in a period of “darkness,” but that its moral slough did not originate with Trump. “He is a symptom, not the cause,” Obama said.

The former president’s sarcastic side also emerged. In discussing the Trump administration’s calamitously poor response to Hurricane Maria that devastated Puerto Rico and parts of The Bahamas, Obama said “I know Republicans favour less government. But government should at least make sure 3,000 Americans don’t die in a hurricane.”

Some observers feel that Trump was impelled into politics by the humiliation he suffered at the White House Correspondents Association dinner in 2011. Then, President Obama ridiculed him to his face. “Donald Trump is here tonight. I’m sure no one is happier than Donald to put this birth certificate matter to rest. That’s because he can now get back to issues that really matter. Like, did we fake the moon landing?”

Host Seth Myers piled on at the same dinner. “I hear Trump will run as a Republican for president,” Myers deadpanned. “I assumed he was running as a joke.” Later, Myers noted Trump’s comments that he had good relations with blacks. “Only true if it was a white family named Black,” Myers said. Trump looked ashen.

November’s elections in the US will give us a hint as to who will have the last laugh.

Comments

Economist 2 months ago

Fantastic editorial.

Donald Trump is a menace to society.

He is sending the world back to the desolate 1930's.

War might not come in his presidency, but he is definitely sowing the seeds of war. Only time will tell if the world is economically stronger than the 1930's so that his seeds of war do not fall on fertile ground.

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Porcupine 2 months ago

Editor, Your editorial is right about Trump, yet woefully ignorant on Obama. Obama was a face who was put into his position to accomplish conservative goals that would never have been accepted under republicans. Did you fail to miss the sheer number of Goldman Sachs employees Obama brought into his administration? Why? Because they are so good at running a democracy? Or, because they were so good at making hundreds of millions of dollars a year, for themselves, while screwing everyone else and tanking a good part of the world's economy. Obama let off the hook the previous administration. Those clearly guilty of war crimes, torture, and state terrorism. What power of persuasion does it take for you to ignore these egregious crimes against humanity? Do you favor letting a murderer off the hook in Nassau? One murder is a tragedy, but a million murders a statistic? There are many insightful criticisms of Obama, many correct. There are those who come to believe what is in the papers every day. The reality is that the real rulers of the world are not elected. Politicians in the world's most powerful country are figureheads. If you do not believe this, I have a reading list for you 40 years long. If you think for a minute that Martin Luther King Jr. John F Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and many many more world leaders were killed by disgruntled lone assassins, who are not exactly well-read by any standards. I would say you are comfortably brainwashed. If you think for a minute that a PM of The Bahamas could stand up to our northern neighbor and not by taken out, you are living in a dream world. The US has overthrown nearly 60 countries leadership, through bribery, military invasion, economic warfare and assassination. If you are unaware of this, you haven't done your homework. It is all well documented, from General Smedley Butler on down. No, not what is taught in school or published in a newspaper of record, but nonetheless true. Obama was and is a shill for the elite. Nothing more, nothing less. Perhaps, your insights could be helped along by Cornel West's article below. There are many others of equal intellectual and scholarly value. https://www.theguardian.com/commentis...">https://www.theguardian.com/commentis...

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joeblow 2 months ago

Obama's eloquence and likability did nothing to address the real issues Americans care about. He played the part very well, but just didn't do the necessary work that would cement his legacy as a president who got things done. To the contrary, Obama may be judged as one of the most non-performing presidents in history! His presidency was predominantly by executive action and that is why it will be erased shortly!

In spite of all Trumps flaws, he is doing something elected leaders rarely do, he is keeping his campaign promises. Remember if Obama was doing such a great job, it would have been easy for another Democrat to be elected president. Trump is only president because of Obama's massive failures!

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milesair 2 months ago

Keeping his promises? Keep drinking the "kool-aid" or in this case eating the Trump B.S. Let's see, Trump promised affordable healthcare for all American's. Where is it? The only thing that Trump and his GOP cohorts have done is to try to destroy Obamacare despite the fact that Obamacare is more popular than ever with more people signing up everyday. The GOP continues to try to destroy Obamacare despite failure after failure. They are possessed by the success of Obamacare and can't stand that fact. Anything Obama has done the GOP wants to destroy. Next, Trump said that he would build a wall on the Mexican border and make Mexico pay for it. As former Mexican President Vincente Fox said "Mexico will NOT pay for Trumps f'ing wall!" And, they haven't. Another campaign promise broken! Again Trump didn't win the election as he received three million less votes than Hillary, all of these votes according to the liar Trump were made by illegal aliens, another Trump lie. The U.S. isn't a real democracy as American's don't vote for a President, they vote for the electorial college. This is a stone age idea meant by the founding fathers to give small states more power. In a real democracy, the winner gets at least 50% plus one vote. In a real democracy the person with the most votes wins, plain and simple. I'd be willing to say that if Obama could run for a third term, Obama would win in a land slide. American's are finally waking up to the fact that Trump has been a disaster for a President and even Hillary would be better than this idiot whose ego proceeds everything that he does. Hillary may be a liar but Trump beats even Hillary at that fact. Get real!

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Economist 2 months ago

Mr. Trump is busy in speeding the decline of the United States and making China 'Great Again'. He pulled out of the Climate Change Agreement and China has stepped in to say it will help the world achieve this goal.

Russia has turned to China. It was under the Nixon Administration that Kissinger managed to drive a wedge between the then Soviet Union and China, but Trump has removed the wedge to China's advantage and the United States disadvantage.

Trump puts up tariffs on Europe and they make a Trade Agreement with Japan that covers one third of world trade. The US is not a part of that.

The Pacific Rim countries still went ahead and signed the TRIPPS agreement without the US.

The US is going back to its isolationist ways under Trump. The world is looking less and less to the US for leadership as Trump drags the US into irrelevance.

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