Regular readers of this blog will know that I am no great fan of Donald Trump, and I hold my breath to see what on earth his presidency will bring. Nevertheless, being an avid adherent of the Biblical idea that God often raises up fools and worse to act as his wrecking ball against that which is in need of a good wrecking, I am patiently waiting to see whether Mr Trump is — like a Jehu or a Nebuchadnezzar — indeed the unwitting tool that God has chosen to perform what is one of the most needful jobs on the planet right now: the dismantling of the US Deep State.
That it needs dismantling ought to be obvious to anyone who isn’t an adherent of that ghastly cult which has infected the American elite for sometime now — the religion of US Exceptionalism which drives adherents to believe they have the right to rule the entire planet. It is so unutterably foul, corrupt and dangerous that it needs a wrecking ball to confront it. Where a more sensible man might not have the opportunity or the nerve to take on this challenge, perhaps Mr Trump will. Time will tell.
But despite my reservations about the man, and what I see as understandable concerns about his fitness for office, what I find unpalatable is the way that he is being judged before his presidency even got started, as if he had been in office for the past eight years and had done untold damage. Whereas the man who actually has occupied that position for the last eight years, and who actually has done unprecedented damage, gets a free pass from most of the media.
In fact, they continue to gush and fawn over him just as they did all those long years ago, when he launched his slick and transparently phoney PR campaign to bring “hope” to America and the world. The Messiah had apparently come back then, and despite the trail of destruction he has left, he is now treated as The Messiah who unfortunately has to go.
So what is his legacy? In case you missed it, here are seven things that he will eventually be remembered for — that is when real historians in a different era sit down and evaluate the man, in the cold light of day, free from the tendency to get lumpy throated and teary eyed when thinking about him:
- Mr Obama has been operating a drone bombing programme throughout his presidency, which has extra-judicially killed hundreds of people, without trial, many of whom will have been entirely innocent
- He holds the dubious record of being the only two term president to have been at war for the entirety of his presidency
- His policy towards Libya has destroyed that country, producing a failed state where ISIS and other jihadi organisations have filled the vacuum, and created an unprecedented migrant crisis in Europe
- He waged war on Syria not by invasion, but by arming and funding jihadist proxies to topple the legitimate leader of a country 1,000s of miles from the US and which posed zero threat to America, and creating a PR campaign describing them as moderates.
- Despite all his blather about race relations, the path of identity politics he has chosen to tread has left race relations in the US in a worse state than at any time since the civil rights movement
- His administration presided over the biggest state surveillance plan ever seen in the history of the world
- His administration’s policy of funding and supporting a coup d’etat in Ukraine was his biggest folly by far, and has taken us into the worst crisis between the US and Russia since 1963
But perhaps Mr Obama’s biggest legacy that he taught future leaders that if you sound sort of folksy and jokesy, use proxies to do the job for you covertly instead of overtly, blabber on about democracy, freedom and values, and make genial appearances on chat shows, you can get away with practically anything you like.
Let me finish with a statement he made in his final press conference as President:
“It is important for the United States to stand up for the basic principle that big countries don’t go around and invade and bully smaller countries.”
Yes it is important, isn’t it? It’d be lovely if it happened, wouldn’t it? Bit late to start now though, isn’t it Barack?
Part of me marvels that he is actually able to get words like that out of his mouth. Not only that, but I find it equally amazing that the entire press corps in that room did not burst into a fit of nervous, hysterical laughter. Did he really say that? The man who perfected the art of going around and bullying smaller countries. The man who admitted that his administration often had to arm-twist other nations to do his bidding? Yep, he did say that. But then he made a sort of art of saying that kind of monstrously hypocritical stuff though, and the press corps made a sort of art out of failing to call him out on it, so maybe there’s no need to marvel.
But the laughter that was missing from that press conference was more than made up for by the sound of hollow laughter and disbelief echoing around many, many places in the world. Barack Obama: the man who bullied smaller countries, and then accused others of doing it. Barack Obama: the man who wilfully and needlessly started a new Cold War and got away with it.