Here are the ways in which Obama has laid the groundwork for a monstrous Trump presidency.* Thanks, Obama!
4.) No Transparency
The Obama administration has been the least transparent administration to date. Obama makes Nixon look like an open book. This paves the way for Trump (who has been notably opaque during the campaign) to do his tyrannical bidding in total secrecy.
Unquestionably, we won’t be able to count on Trump being more transparent than Obama.
At the same time, the fates of Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, and Julian Assange all hang in the balance, thanks to Obama. The “Hope” and “Change” should have led to a dismantling of the security state and the military-industrial complex.
Rather, the empire strengthened, consolidated, and expanded. When Trump calls for the killing of Edward Snowden, we shouldn’t take this as facetious rhetoric.
3.) Deportation Nation
Let’s be straight. Obama hasn’t done much of anything concrete to protect people of color. Aside from a few flowery statements and a warm speech from time to time, the racist functioning of the American state has continued.
Police have been gunning down black people in the US since forever. Why isn’t Obama actively fighting police militarization? Why is he not standing with the Black Lives Matter movement?
He’s said some nice things, but what has he done?
Another clear example right now is that Obama could stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Why isn’t he stopping it? Do the lives of indigenous people matter less than the lives of white people (away from whom the pipeline was rerouted)?
When it comes to Latin@s, Obama has a particularly abysmal record.
Donald Trump is talking about setting up deportation squads.
The thing that nobody seems to be talking about is that we already have deportation squads in the United States. Obama has deported more undocumented (and sometimes documented!) immigrants than any other president in history.
This is the nice liberal face of terror.
White supremacy has been the backbone of the US government since it was founded. And why has Obama not even mentioned that trivial fact?
Indigenous people, black people, latin@s, and other people of color live under America, not in America.
And Trump intends to keep it that way.
2.) The NDAA and The Surveillance State
The National Defense Authorization Act is actually so over-reaching and invasive that at the time Obama signed it, he himself said that he would not use parts of the bill during his administration. Well what does that mean?
It’s hard to accept for those who have trusted Obama to “do the right thing”. After all, liberals for the past eight years have been reluctant to criticize him.
He’s got a good heart! The Republicans are just ruining everything!
The surveillance state is all-pervasive. Every phone call, every text, every e-mail, every photo, every tweet, every google search is marked, collected, and stored.
The internet has made people vulnerable at every junction to the endless spying of the US government.
This is the man who’s very first act as president was to sign an executive order to close the American gulag at Guantanamo Bay. In case you were wondering, it’s still open. Do you think Trump is going to close it?
It is obvious that the surveillance state under Trump will be expanded. And once he decides to target Muslims, he’ll already have all the information he needs, because Obama has kept Bush’s Muslim registry in place.
1.) The War Precedent
Obama’s been at war longer than any other president – the full extent of both terms. There hasn’t been a day of Obama’s presidency where the United States wasn’t at war. This is the man who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.
Let’s do a quick run-down: Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan. After all this is the first presidency of drones, drones, and more drones.
The United States has also been engaging in more and more high-profile and dangerous cyber warfare.
Since 2014, tensions with Russia have been high and Obama has been playing war games with NATO in order to prepare for hybrid wars. This will allow Trump to spread hybrid warfare more broadly. Along with this, the violent coup in Honduras in 2009 was backed by the Obama administration as well as the legislative coup this year in Brazil.
Which coups will we see under Trump? In Cuba? In Venezuela? In Indonesia?
And of course, Trump will be able to kill American citizens without any accountability.
For those patriots (for whom an American life is for some reason more valuable than the life of a non-American), Obama was the first president to be openly authorize the assassination of an American citizen.
*For the record, all of these things would’ve also applied to Hillary Clinton, had she won.
I should admit that I’m among the many people who are rather surprised by the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States. However, I may be one of the few to see the silver lining here.
For the past eight years, I have had a fundamental disagreement with most of my liberal friends. It seemed to me that liberals wouldn’t admit that Barack Obama’s actions and policies weren’t always perfect and shiny and amazing.
However, now that liberals have been twice defeated (once in the defeat of Bernie Sanders), we can begin to build the necessary coalitions to fight Trump.
We finally stand together. We must radicalize together. Now is our opportunity.
Hillary Clinton lost, because of no one but herself. People want to blame 3rd-party candidates or sexism or blah, blah, blah.
This allows us to reject the election, but we need to reflect on the election.
What message did the Clinton campaign bring? Her answer to Trump’s proposed Muslim ban was to encourage Muslims to spy on each other for the state. When looking for a scapegoat in a variety of areas, Clinton harkened back to the Cold War and pointed to Russia at every opportunity. Her “path to citizenship” wasn’t a way forward for undocumented immigrants. She whispered about Black Lives Matter a few times, but Clinton has a long history of racism. And, on top of all this, by adjusting the primaries with the DNC, we know how she did actually rig one election.
This wasn’t an appealing option for any bloc of voters.
Undoubtedly, Trump was also by no means appealing. But now that he’s the next president, we need understand how to fight him and that includes reflecting on the failures of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
It also means that we need to take a harder look at how the American government functions.
In this election, we had the choice between two people who haven’t experienced poverty. Two members of the ruling class and who were competing to act on behalf of the ruling class.
Donald Trump doesn’t care about you. Neither does Hillary Clinton.
They both care only about themselves. This is patently obvious to most of the population.
The government in the U.S. is a government by the rich for the rich. And here we can also see the farce in the supposed “difference” between the two political parties. The similarities are overwhelming, whereas the differences are petty.
Donald Trump will now serve simply as the monstrous head of an even larger monster.
In order to fight him, we need to fight the institutions and ideologies that support him. Those institutions are the ones that allow him to govern. A lot of people are now making the analogy to the 1930s without asking the next question: so what do we do?
What would you do if you were living in 1930s Germany or Italy?
The American government has failed to protect us and now, perhaps, is the most important time to re-appropriate Clinton’s campaign slogan of “Stronger Together” and make sure to just delete her from the club.
Now is the time to organize.
We must organize undocumented immigrants, to protect them from the state and Trump’s goon squads.
We must strengthen Black Lives Matter, in order to fight and destroy the racist institutions of the government.
We must organize Muslims against questions of “Americanism” and loyalty.
We must organize the workers to destroy policies that rip the working class apart. We need universal healthcare, free university tuition, and environmental protection. We’re not going to receive that from a nice, benevolent government. We have to fight for it.
Now is also the moment when we need to stand against the right-wing factions in our country. The Alt-Right is real. Fascists and White Supremacists have their ideal representative in the White House.
We must fight them. We must organize against them.
The time to radicalize is now.
We will be Stronger Together, especially without Clinton.