How We Failed Obama & Created Donald Trump.
I'm just going to start by saying how I was so tired of people saying how Obama did nothing for us especially black folks when he's done more than the law allows with what he had despite opposition from the Right and fair weather critics. What I mean by fair weather critics are those critics that are there when Obama is down in the polls or when the majority of his critics rule the news cycle for however long that news cycle last.
It started when he had the majority. Many critics on the Left & the Right wanted answers as to why Obama wanted to spend his majority on health care. Being the political junkie I am and knowing how the government works, Obama knew as I did that he wouldn't have the majority long, so he had a gun with one bullet and he had to take a perfect shot or miss his opportunity. This in addition to other small things like Cash for Clunkers and helping to save General Motors from collapse are major things not to be taken for granted.
Why is this relevant now? Well this actually starts a trend that will haunt Obama from his first mid-term to today. Here's how. I don't know what's the disconnect with us (especially us black folks) and the mid-terms but we get lazy and despite your coworkers reminding you and the many blasts on social media, many of you still didn't vote causing Obama to lose his majority and a lot of his power. All of the things he could have done or wanted was either blocked or he just couldn't have time to do anything because the majority of Republicans in Congress blocked a lot of his good intentions.
Despite being blocked from a lot of things, Obama managed to create steadily rising job numbers that Trump takes credit for today. He managed to do so much economically and while economics weren't perfect but we weren't at depression levels either. You were able to buy a house and go to college no matter whether you're fresh out of high school or returning to school.
It's a great thing everyone came out for re-election but the issue is for the same enthusiasm we had for electing the man, we needed to give him a Congress he could use. What angers me is we missed a golden opportunity at a very bad time. The midterms came right on the heels of Mike Brown's murder at the hands of the police. That weekend, I heard people shout, "Where is Obama?" and "Why isn't he doing anything about it?"
You also forget that Obama (or any president for that matter) isn't an all-knowing mind reading mystic. At the time, he was dealing with terrorism abroad and a couple of other domestic issues. He did make a statement by Sunday and got the Justice Department involved. However, the fault isn't just on Obama. That fault is us because remember, we don't vote in Midterm Elections. Mike Brown was murdered in August and the Midterms were in November. THAT WAS OUR GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE OBAMA WHAT HE NEEDED TO HELP.
So to say Obama did nothing for America or for black folks is highly inaccurate. I guess having jobs and being able to pay your bills isn't helping. I guess being able to go to the doctor without worrying about the finances isn't helping. I guess getting money for college or financing to start (or maintain) your own business isn't helping us because a lot of us don't take advantage of what's in front of us because it's "too hard" but that's another blog for another day.
When it was time for us to help Obama (by voting in the midterms), we failed him. A president is not a king who can declare things. We learned in school there are three branches of Congress. A president can only present legislation. It's Congress' job to work out the details and approve or disapprove. The Supreme Court votes on whether that law is Constitutional or not. However, if the Congress is all Republican and the president is Democrat there's a problem. He sidestepped a lot of things with executive orders and still used his power to bring the economy back but there's still more we could have done to help him. No I am not beating a dead horse and the past is in the past but this should be taken as a life lesson. In fact, that lesson starts this November.
Even with the Russia probes, the possible election tampering, and his own personal sexual harassment allegations, it's still up in the air whether Trump will be impeached or not. However, instead of waiting for that to happen, we have a realistic opportunity to de-power right now. It's now time for us to go to the polls this November (yes, another midterm is upon us) and take away Trump's majority voting power. I personally don't know what happened; it worked with George W. Bush's last two years and he couldn't do anything. So I don't want to hear the excuse that our vote doesn't count just because we don't get what we won't.
I agree, the Trump election was a lot more to be desired with the Electoral College but the big advantage in midterm congressional elections is no Electoral College. This is also the opportunity for you all to get involved with your local elections too. Many of you all sitting by the sidelines (and keyboards) complaining are not really participating but are quick to share bad news online or believe the first conspiracy theory that comes your way.
Now, how did we create Trump? My theory is if we helped Obama out like he asked because when he was candidate Obama, he used the term "we" and the phrase "with your help, I". He never said he was going to do a damn thing alone but we wouldn't be divided talking about how he didn't do anything. He did a lot because for a president to have done "nothing", Trump wouldn't take an entire year reversing everything he's done.
Okay, I put the tools in your hands. In November, the choice is yours. If you're not registered, register. Get to know your local alderperson, city/state senators and congresspersons.