Obama’s ephemeral legacy anchored in delusion
In the end America went her own way as if the Obamas had never come.
That is a paraphrase of the last sentence, “In the end China went her own way as if the Americans had never come," of Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Barbara W. Tuchman's book "Sand Against the Wind -- Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-45."
Obama ended his administration as it began, with a participation trophy. In 2009, he was given the Nobel Peace Prize for what he might do, and now, less than three weeks before he leaves office, Obama awarded himself the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service for what he didn’t do.
Delusional is the only term that I can muster to describe the chasm that has existed between what the Obama administration perceived or wanted us to believe and the actual state of the nation.
Over the course of eight years, Obama’s pronouncements steadily became, not motivational instruments or representations of a desired state of affairs, but feats of political transubstantiation, where, if he utters them, words become reality.
Reflecting upon his time in office, Obama recently noted the “extraordinary progress” the country has made over the last eight years.
Like beauty, progress is in the eye of the beholder.
Obama thinks race relations have gotten better during his administration, while 2016 polls have indicated that Americans believe race relations have gotten worse and their concern about it is at the highest level since 2001, when data were first collected.
In the political equivalent of a “Jedi Mind Trick”, Valarie Jarrett, Obama’s close friend and longtime adviser, as well as much of the main stream media, claimed that his administration “hasn’t had a scandal,” ignoring such outrages as Benghazi, the IRS fiasco, Fast and Furious, Solyndra, ObamaCare, Pigford, the Veterans Administration’s death list and others.
Obama’s “progress” no doubt includes the Democrat Party’s net loss of 1,042 congressional and state legislative seats, governorships and, finally, the presidency.
A week after the election, Obama said that Americans were “indisputably better off” because of him despite a doubling of national debt, Gross Domestic Product growth of less than 3%, a decrease in the work force participation rate, a stagnant median household income and an increase in the number of food stamp recipients by 10.7 million people, 32% higherthan when he took office.
In his weekly address to the nation on Christmas Eve 2016, Barack and Michelle claimed “we made America more respected around the world.” Even college students, their core constituency, don’t believe that, seventy-three percent having said that the United States is less respected by other countries than it was in the past.
I will not mention the threat of radical Islam, because Obama thinks it doesn’t exist.
It was an administration built upon a combination of ideology and incompetence. Ultimately it became an architect of errors rather than a supplier of solutions. Final recognition of which will occur when public awareness exceeds the media’s capacity to varnish the truth.
In the end, Obama’s legacy will be his pursuit of the appearance rather than the substance of accomplishment, an illusion, as enduring as sand against the wind.
Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired US Army Reserve colonel, a command and control subject matter expert, trained in Arabic and Kurdish, and a veteran of Afghanistan, northern Iraq and a humanitarian mission to West Africa. He receives email at firstname.lastname@example.org.