Barack Obama’s Legacy: What was left after his presidency?

Text: Žikica Milošević

Oh, momma, I wanna go surfing, Oh, momma, I don’t care about nothing”, sang NYC-based The Drums in 2009, immediately after Barack Obama, the first multiracial president in the American history, entered the White House. Of course, I you misheard the lyrics as “Obama, I wanna go surfing…” it was intended, in fact. The whole song is basically about the hopes for the newly appointed president: “Wake up, there’s a new kid in the town (a new president)/ Honey, he’s moving into the big house (The White House)/ Remember when I was so very hopeless (during G. W. Bush era)/ Darling, he’s gonna make it all better”. If was a time of great hope, after warmongering George W. and his disaster in Iraq, and falling down of the markets in the late 2008. Obama even got the Nobel prize “in advance”, without doing virtually anything, just for… not being Bush.

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 4: President Barack Obama speaks during a ceremony for the 2016 Kennedy Center honorees December 4, 2016 in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC. The honorees include Eagles band members, actor Al Pacino and singer James Taylor. (Photo by Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images)


There has been no better campaigner than Obama. He had great words, moved the masses, the young and the old, the white and the black and those in between. He was the first to use social networks effectively. First, he has beaten almighty Hillary Clinton and winning the warmongering McCain was a piece of cake. But later, he committed many mistakes by simply compromising too much. The people did not elect the first Afro-American president in order to be “not revolutionary”. We expected the real revolution. And we got just some bits and pieces. One of the fatal mistakes was appointing Hillary Clinton as State Secretary. Maybe he was pressed by his own party, but it was a bad omen. Nothing will change any time soon.


The greatest failure of Obama’s presidency was the formation of the fiercest and the most destructive jihadist groups ever, ISIS. No, it is the most destructive ever. Killing Bin Laden was not nearly enough. It was so 2001, as the kids would say. The new enemy formed from four sides. Two countries were destroyed by Bush’s interventions (Afghanistan and Iraq) and two from Hillary’s real or intended interventions: Syria and Libya. OK, Afghanistan was never too peaceful and not even Bush is too blame for their state today, but the other 3 could have been avoided easily. Especially the intervention in Lybia was tragic, since it was done by a peace-Nobel prize winner! The social networks cried: Give it back! He didn’t. Hillary smiled over Gaddafi’s dead body. Now nobody’s smiling. “The Arab Spring” was not successful since the Western powers looked at it through Western glasses, ignoring the local mentalities. Instead federalising Iraq and giving enough power to the Sunnis there, and instead of pushing democratic processes in Syria, we had insisting on asymmetrical Iraq with only one autonomous state (Kurdistan) and letting the Shiites leading the rest, which was catastrophic. We had arming of the Syrian rebels and the Caliphate was born. So was the migrant crisis and the populism. And in stopping it, the USA did less in few years than Russia in few months. The error was leaving Iraq with no self-sustainable system and meddling with Syria and Libya at all. Good things came at the end: opening Cuba and Iran. We have waited for decades for that, and it finally happened, and we are looking for better future. It was as historical as Nixon’s opening of China. Maybe, if the Republicans don’t overturn it. The bad relationships with Russia are also very negative burden, caused by American meddling with Ukraine. Killing people by drones was not a good thing either. Bombing 7 countries during 8 years is rather a lowsy result for a peace-promising president.


Obama promised the end of wars and orientation towards domestic issues. So did Trump, right? It seems that all the presidential candidates know the wishes of the people and then they somehow forget them when they enter the Oval Office. We got something: ACA or Obamacare, was enacted instead of Universal Health Care, and it was “better something than nothing”, and it could be Obama’s finest moment. And then again, contrary to all reasonable countries, parts of American population want it removed. Imagine a removal of Healthcare in any other country? It would be a revolution. Not in America. By failing to ensure his heir to be Bernie Sanders who had great chances to win over Trump, Obama risks every achievement of his presidency to be endangered now, or even erased. The economy pushed far better than the EU’s, and auto-industry and some of the devastated cities were saved. Same-sex marriages? This was the least important and the easiest thing to be done, having in mind the lobbies and the situation in the developed world. Black lives matter, of course, but not even the half-black president could change the inner racism in the USA.


Obama moved from Iraq without preparing the feasible system for the country to survive. He let Hillary and the warmongers to destroy Libya and Syria. By not ensuring Sanders to continue his revolution, he failed domestically. And there is no wonder that after all the unfullfilled promised from Obama, the voters blamed exactly those who sabotaged Obama. Hillary and the old-styled Republicans. No Clinton, no Cruz, no J. Bush in the White House now. When the good ol’ Bernie was sabotaged, they turned to yet another revolution. This one is not politically correct.

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