As the nation prepares to formally enter the Age of Trump and leave the Age of Obama, it is worth noting that the left cannot honestly assess Barack Obama’s legacy. To honestly assess his legacy would be to conclude his eight years were a pyrrhic victory for progressivism.
Promising “hope and change,” Barack Obama had the audacity, a word that could define his political life and not just his written biography, to stand on the world stage and announce that his nomination, not even his election, was the moment the world began to heal and the oceans began to recede. Eight years later, the world is at war, the nation divided, and the oceans are still rising.
Barack Obama entered the White House with Congress under the complete control of the Democrats. Instead of dealing with climate change, gun control, immigration reform, or any other priority, the President sought to ram through the Affordable Care Act, the result of which was the destruction of the Democratic Party. The Democrats still refuse to acknowledge the legislation has not done what was promised. In fact, it has added new burdens and costs to the working poor. It has not dramatically improved healthcare costs or accessibility in the nation. But Democrats have surrendered all pretenses of honesty on these points to keep a law that soon Republicans will discard.
And what was the price for the Affordable Care Act? Republicans are now more dominant nationwide than any time since Reconstruction. The party that was supposed to be cast aside by a demographic destiny now holds more seats in Congress since the 1920’s and more local, county, and state legislative and gubernatorial seats since the late 1800’s.
Is Sandy Hook also a legacy of the Affordable Care Act? The President and Democrats had complete control of Congress for two years. Gun control is an issue most every Democrat has campaigned on fervently. But, when given all the power and all the possibilities that came with it, the Democrats did nothing legislatively or through the regulatory process to curb gun sales, “assault” weapons, etc. In fact, after Sandy Hook, the President and Democrats used it as a campaign issue against the Republicans to no avail. But when they controlled it all, they did nothing.
The Democrats, in 2009, had the House of Representatives, the Senate, the White House, 27 state legislatures, and 28 Governors’ Mansions, and 17 states with both the General Assemblies and Governors’ Mansions controlled by just the Democrats. But they focused on the Affordable Care Act instead of gun control.
To admit, as Democrats are hesitant to do, that Sandy Hook could not have been prevented by legislation, is to confess the Democrats have spent the last few years lying about it, using death for partisan political gain. Otherwise, one must consider that when the Democrats had the opportunity and power to prevent Sandy Hook, they chose to do nothing. Then, after the tragedy, they used the images and memories of those dead children to attack Republicans, demanding the GOP do what the Democrats could have done and refused to do.
Sandy Hook was not the only act of gun violence in this nation during Barack Obama’s tenure. In fact, during his tenure there have been more mass shootings than under George W. Bush. There have also been more domestic terror incidents under Barack Obama’s watch. Loathe to even consider them acts of Islamic terror, this White House stared evil in the face and called it random acts of violence and a “new normal.”
It is a controversial thing to mention, but true nonetheless, that with Barack Obama in the White House more Americans turned to mass shootings than when George W. Bush was there. One must wonder what it is about Barack Obama’s time in office that led to that. One must note that unlike any President to come before him, Barack Obama seized on these tragedies to advance his partisan agenda and, again, it was an agenda he could have done himself were he not so busy with Obamacare.
The nation itself is more divided than ever and its President, instead of trying to heal the divide has capitalized on the divisions for partisan gain. To say “all lives matter” is considered a racist act. One is only allowed to say “black lives matter” and to do otherwise could see businesses and individuals targeted for harassment. Christians have seen the state come after their businesses and livelihoods. In California, individuals who supported Proposition 8 to maintain traditional marriage were in some cases driven from their jobs. Business owners were boycotted. Democrats who want to ensure no one provides goods or services to Donald Trump are demanding Christians provide goods and services to gay weddings, despite their religious convictions. The Obama Administration demands Christian organizations accept transgenderism, despite both religious and scientific reservations, along with the left’s abortion on demand agenda.
The ultimate assessment of Barack Obama’s domestic legacy is summed up this way. Individuals, across the spectrum of race, age, and ethnicity, voted for Barack Obama in 2012 then four years later voted for the man who pledged to dismantle all Barack Obama had done. They did so not because of racism, but because they were tired of Barack Obama pitting neighbor against neighbor, race against race, class against class, and business against business to accomplish an agenda that went off the rails.
Abroad, Barack Obama’s legacy is no better. China is building and militarizing islands in the South China Sea. We withdrew from then reinvaded Iraq. We announced to the world our timetable for withdrawing from Afghanistan only to see the Taliban wait us out and force our re-entry. Russia holds Crimea and plots daily to undermine Western democracies. Russia likewise attempted to interfere in our own elections. Turkey has headed toward increasing Islamism. Syria crossed multiple red lines showing the world the United States was all talk. Our Libyan Ambassador was killed on the job before ISIS took over due to our destabilizing actions.
The left cannot admit the disaster that is the Iranian compromise. Iran now plots to build nuclear weapons and funds terrorists around the world with money we gave them. Israeli relations have been undermined and Eastern European countries look on nervously. The world sees an Obama Administration that has broken promises, given up, and stepped back from the world stage. Powers hostile to our interests have been emboldened.
The left will dispute all of this. But I doubt history will. Barack Obama’s historic legacy will be that of a nation that turned in against itself and walked away from its obligations abroad. Barack Obama’s historic legacy will be, in two words, Donald Trump.