“A Critical Critique of the Present with Introspection for the Past”ion for the Past”
By Kris Erskine
On January 20, 2017, the United States inaugurated the 45th President with the entire world watching with a keen sense of anticipation. The new leader of the free world would have some major hurdles of history to surmount. His immediate predecessor, President Barack Obama, was the first elected African American to the oval office. The numerous hallmark accomplishments of the previous administration for the past 8 years speaks volumes:
According to the Washington Monthly Magazine- Obama’s Top Accomplishments- article written by Paul Glastris, Ryan Cooper, and Siyu Hu.
1. Passed Health Care Reform – after five (5) presidents over a century failed to create universal health insurance, signed the Affordable Care Act (2010).
2. Past the Stimulus– Signed $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 to spur economic growth amid greatest recession since the Great Depression.
3. Passed Wall Street Reform– Signed the Dodd-Frank
Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (2010) to re-regulate the financial sector after its practices caused the Great Recession.
4. Ended the War in Iraq– Ordered all U.S. military forces out of the country. Last troops left on December 18, 2011.
5. Eliminated Osama Bin Laden– In 2011, ordered Special Forces raid of secret compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in which the global terrorist leader was executed and a trove of al-Qaeda documents was discovered.
Although the article listed Obama’s 50 Top Accomplishments, I have only named 5 here. This vast list is etched in the fabric of this country’s history that stems from Turning Around U.S. Auto Industry, to Recapitalized Banks, to Repealing of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Kicked Banks Out of Federal Student Loan Program, Created Race to the Top, Coordinated International Response to Financial Crisis, Increased Support for Veterans to name a few.
Following a person of distinction and historic list of accomplishments would stand a tall order for the average person. The momentum of the nation and abroad was poised for continued progress. The relations with foreign dignitaries was re-established and our global rating reaching new levels, the demand for competent leadership was without exception. The major hurdle positioned against this current administration is the “Scandal Free” Presidency for nearly 8 years. Of course there were scandalizing issues during the Obama years, but none involving the President himself or family. Miami Herald reporter Albert R. Hunt, pen a piece in the November 16, 2016 issue entitled- “Obama leaving with Honor Intact” confirms the major hurdle that faced this current president. Hunt reports that:
“Barack Obama enters the twilight of his presidency as a popular and respected figure, in no small part because he has run an honest and ethical administration. Polls show Obama earning approval ratings topping 50% (percent) despite deep divisions over his policies. That’s higher than most postwar second-term presidents nearing the end of their time in office.”
Never prejudging anyone, the hallmark of this administration has been scandalous at best. It is modern day version of Charles Dicken’s “A Tale of Two Cities” to say the least. We have been introduced to a brash and boorish ideological approach to politics. It is seems as if there is a delight in deliberate confusion and collusion whether it is the total disrespect of anyone who dares to speak truth to power. The ongoing “hate-affair” with media and the non-commitment to any tangible accountability. The blatant lies and half to no truth statements, with almost sinister smirk and smile have colored this administration totally outside the lines. The problem with most Americans is that they seem to love doing so.
Linda Qiu wrote an article in the NY Times on April 27, 2017 entitled “Fact-Checking President Trump Through His First 100 Days” where she cited numerous issues with legitimacy. She opens stating that foundation of accomplishments will never offer support of stableness in success because it began faltering and failing out the gate.
“In his first 100 days in office, President Trump has falsely boasted of attracting the largest inaugural crowd ever, cited a nonexistent terrorism attacks in Sweden and leveled an unproved accusation that his predecessor spied on him. While these inaccuracies have commanded much attention, there has been a steady steams of falsehoods.”
The spirit of apathy has abruptly collared hope and began to choke the humility out it at the expense of what many call “the billionaires boys club” from the mostly all-white male appointments. The abuse of power and disregard of party affiliations has created havoc among the most conservative republicans. The White website, offers this blog on the subject under scrutiny:
“In his first 100 days, President Donald J. Trump has taken bold action to restore prosperity, keep Americans safe and secure, and hold government accountable. At an historic pace, the President has enacted more legislation and signed more executive orders than any other president in over a half century. With a focus on rebuilding the military, ending illegal immigration, and restoring confidence in our economy, the President is keeping his promises to the American people.”
Many people who live in this country would certainly call into question just which Americans profit from the promises made and being kept. As I write this article, the DOJ (Department of Justice) has yet to secure and conclude proper evidence to convict culprits who openly kill people of color. U.S. News reporter Joseph P. Williams wrote in article July 13, 2016- Why Aren’t Police Prosecuted?
“He cited that experts say different standards, and laws protecting police, raise the bar for prosecution. That’s in large part because initial investigations of police-involved deaths usually have to prove that an officer knowingly and intentionally killed the victim without justification or provocation, experts say. State laws give wide latitude to police when it comes to use of force.”
But, the spirit apathy yet has its proverbial hands clutched around the throat of hope and has a determination shone in its eyes that letting go is not an option. So the appraisal of the First 100 Days is suspect while yet surreal. Many believe they will awaken only to discover this was a really poor prank and had duped us for 100 days. Others continue to express their displeasure with the intentional “Executive Orders” that really only support the thematic emphasis to undue everything Obama. In a desperate attempt to remove from the portals of time, those accomplishments, etched into the fabric of this nation’s history. They will forever be debated, but history and hope themselves will always defend them.
I will offer this personal commentary as I conclude and remain diligent in the fight for freedom, liberation, and equality of all persons. If we succumb to the abuse power and neglect of principles we will become entrapped by a cynical, social suicidal psychology that continues rape and rob future generations of destiny. It does so with that same sinister smirk and smile that watched “strange fruit” hanging from trees. The same mutated mentality that worked endlessly to rob generations of old from their legacy. We must remain steadfast in our pursuit of purpose and cognizance of the reality that we really need one another in this world. We will never allow society to separate us, to eradicate the black community, and other communities of color. We must beat back the infected machination that tramples timidity in search for success at the expense of anyone who dares cross its path. People are suffering like never before. Many Americans are living as if they were residents of third world impoverished countries. They are devoid of the basic necessities of life, yet demanded to produce and never question why the oppressors’ foot remains on their neck. We must sound the alarm, it’s never too late!