Op-ed: Farewell, Mr. Obama
Few presidents have been as concerned with their legacy as Barack Obama. From writing his first memoir at age 34, to declaring that Hillary Clinton would continue that legacy, no politician has been more focused on what history will say about him.
But while Obama is rightly proud of being the first African-American president, his leadership has made the world less safe.
This is the Obama legacy:
President Obama was the first president in history to deliberately downgrade the prestige of the United States. This was no hapless Jimmy Carter, but a bright, intentional man determined to diminish our role on the world stage. His first foray abroad, dubbed by critics “The Apology Tour,” announced that America was guilty of many sins, and would atone, in a phrase worthy of George Orwell, by “leading from behind.”
As millions of dead and displaced Syrians soon learned, leading from behind is not leading at all. Nature hates a vacuum, and Vladimir Putin, who has called the destruction of the Soviet Union the greatest tragedy of the 20th century, has been more than happy to fill it.
The bizarrely misnamed Affordable Care Act has largely been an exercise in economic wishful thinking. Remember our President’s promise that, “If you like your doctor, you can keep him?” A more apt prognosis for the ACA might be, “If you like your illness, you can keep it.”
As Americans navigate the ACA’s costly, byzantine regulations, many of us are too broke paying for soaring health insurance premiums to actually afford health care. What this Administration should have known is that any move towards a single-payer system makes health care both less competitive and more expensive.
Campus sex police
The Obama Administration has weaponized its Department of Justice by deploying Title IX as a means to police campus sexual behavior. Drunk young men who fool around with drunk young women are dragged before kangaroo courts where professors of sociology and French literature determine their fate.
Gone is the presumption of innocence. The DOJ has also downgraded the burden of proof for sexual misconduct from “beyond a reasonable doubt” to the much lower “preponderance of evidence.”
The Constitution guarantees the right of criminal defendants to be found guilty only if the case presented against them is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Our president, a former professor of Constitutional Law, has decreed otherwise.
Selling Israel down the river
Seasoned politicians like to say, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” But this president prefers to keep our enemies close and our friends nervous. While many of our European allies have been distressed by Obama’s coldness, most chilling was his recent betrayal of Israel.
As the United Nations voted to condemn our staunchest Middle Eastern ally, America broke its 60-year precedent, upheld under Democratic and Republican administrations alike, by refusing to defend Israel through our veto power.
Sweet deals for our enemies
The Obama Administration’s nuclear deal with Iran has not sated Iran’s thirst for nuclear weapons, but merely kicked this eventuality down the road. Meanwhile, the ayatollahs, when not chanting, “Death to America,” are busy counting the buckets of cash our country has readily sent them — $1.7 billion and counting. Will Iran, the world’s strongest state sponsor of terrorism, use its windfall to advance world peace? Don’t bet on it.
Obama also eased sanctions against Cuba while pursuing zero human rights protections for those brave political dissidents who’ve been rotting in Castro’s prisons since our president was a toddler. Obama is counting on future history students to be top-sheeters who miss the fine print of these “accomplishments.”
A line in the sand?
Actions speak louder than words. Obama drew a line in the sand by threatening dictator Bashar al-Assad with serious consequences if he used chemical weapons against Syrian rebels. Then the world watched as Assad kicked that sand right in Obama’s face.
Among Assad’s victims are the descendants of the world’s first Christian communities — the last people on earth to speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ. The Road to Damascus is no longer a story of conversion but of genocide. This is how our Nobel Peace Prize laureate responds.
Selective law enforcement
Particularly regarding immigration, the president has chosen to ignore laws he does not like. He’s created a special status for “Dreamers,” those immigrants brought here illegally as children. It’s not their fault that their parents broke the law. But Obama has set a dangerous precedent: Our nation’s chief executive can pick and choose which laws of the land to enforce.
The legacy of Barack Obama is a more polarized nation, a world where dictators act with impunity, and a diminished standing for the greatest country on earth. No wonder America just elected a slogan instead of a politician. Will Donald Trump “Make America Great Again?” Stay tuned.
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