The Squandered Opportunity of Barrack Obama’s Presidency

In two thousand and eight, then Democratic candidate Barrack Obama road a wave of soaring rhetoric all the way to the White House. He mesmerized the public with his cool style and he excited everyone with his statesmanlike demeanor. He was a different kind of candidate who seemed above the fray, and the people were excited by what they saw in him. Apart from his charismatic appeal, he was perceived as the antithesis of the outgoing Republican administration, seemingly offering all things to all people. Moreover, as the first African American candidate with such wide appeal; his candidacy represented another opportunity to demonstrate that we had indeed overcome the vestiges of our slavery stained past and healed the wounds from years of racial strife. His charm compensated for his lack of experience, his dazzling personality and his promise of change made up for the absence of a substantial record.

People gave him the benefit of the doubt when they found out that for twenty years he attended the congregation of a raging anti American racist who subscribed to the loathsome doctrine of black liberation theology. When they found out that he advocated for doctors carrying out the original “wishes of the mother” if a baby survived an abortion, people made excuses and said that Republicans were misrepresenting his views. When during his initial campaign he admonished his followers to “get in people’s face,” only the conservative media reported it and sounded the alarm. In an obvious reference to Sarah Palin’s speech at the Republican convention he said, “you can put lipstick on a pig, it is still a pig”. The people in the room with him lapped it up, guffawing uncontrollably at the snipe.  At one of his campaign stops he blasted Jay Z’s “ninety nine problems but a bitch aint one”. No one cried sexism, but once again everyone came to his rescue beating back critics with cries of “misrepresentation” and over reaction. Despite these signals that would have raised alarm bells in any other candidate people preferred to believe the hype and put their trust in what was possible in this exciting and fresh candidate.

After capturing the presidency, Mr. Obama soon began to express himself in a more candid, fearless manner and almost immediately, the upbeat language of reconciliation that he used to soar to the Presidency started to be replaced a with much coarser vernacular. Within days, of taking office he injected himself into a local police matter. Instead of using his position of power to calm racial tensions, and without having any facts, he accused the police of “acting stupidly” towards a black man who was justifiably approached by the police. This was the beginning of a pattern that repeated itself over the next few years in every high profile police case that involved a black accused and white officers.   He never used his influence to be a soothing balm, but instead repeatedly fanned the flames of racial tension. On several occasions he has played the race card, inferring that people who oppose him did so only because of his race. He even once told his followers, “if they bring a knife, you bring a gun”. Furthermore he has done nothing to tamp down on the hysterics of a complicit media who continually accuses Americans of racism for opposing the President’s policies.

In the first few weeks of his Presidency, still sounding in full campaign mode, he told Republicans “they can come for the ride but they have to sit in the back of the bus”. He has impugned the character of anyone who dares to challenge him on his politics, suggesting that they only have nefarious intent for doing so. In shameless acquiescence to identity politics, he called those opposed to gay marriage bigots, he has demonized the rich, mocked those who questioned the validity of man made global warming/climate change, and accused those who oppose Obamacare of wanting the sick to suffer or die. He continues to use scorn and ridicule as a means to silence his political opponents. To this President, those who oppose abortion are not motivated by deeply held convictions, but by a supposed war on women.

The great irony is that he engages in this type of behavior while he sits perched on a pedestal extoling himself as the paragon of moderation, reason and virtue. Do a YouTube search and you’ll be hard pressed to find the President using a conciliatory tone or approach with the people he considers “enemies” who have to be “punished” (his words). The sad thing is that there was so much promise and potential in this gentleman’s Presidency, even if one differed with his politics. What a shame that he squandered it all. He had an opportunity unlike any President before him to take this country forward into being a truly post racial society, but he has failed miserably. He is apparently more fiercely committed to his ideology. He is unabashed about his commitment to the tactics of the Radical Saul Alinski (a man for whom he reputedly has a lot of admiration) and he is unafraid of using them. What a shame indeed!

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