As 8 years of the Obama Presidency comes to close, I look at his legacy, and what he leaves for Trump & the world at the large.
What is Obama’s legacy? When he became President 8 years ago, he was elected on the idea of “Hope”. How has this transformed in his Presidency? And what is the legacy he leaves behind?
Is it Obamacare, the first National healthcare plan in the US? Is it the Legalization and support for Same-Sex marriage?
or is it the continued fracture of American Politics, ending in the election of Trump? or Syria & Ukraine going to hell?
Inevitably, both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are part of his legacy. Obama’s presidency rapidly transformed American society into a progressive one, yet with inevitable faults. While many gasped for a Post-Racial America, that dream is all but dead now. Not only has continued instances of Black Unarmed civilians being shot by Police officers bought into the forefront the implicit racism of law enforcement officers, but the response to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ Protesters, ‘Blue Lives matter’ shows the disconnect between the two major parties.
Race and racial issues- which by the 90s were no longer a source of conflict, have now become an issue again. The cultural wars, of course, are over, and the left has unequivocally triumphed. In my opinion, this is the most monumental achievement of the Obama Presidency: Marriage Equality & repeal of Don’t Ask & Don’t Tell. It would be most probably what his presidency would be remembered for in America. Other than being the first African American President.
In the international arena, Obama’s strategic failure in the middle east cannot be discounted. and don’t forget Russia. Obama’s administration failed to counter Russia in Ukraine, and the humanitarian crisis in Syria. On the other hand, Positives include the Paris climate deal, but is on the way to being gutted(maybe).
Don’t forget the drones. Some even argue this was his worst legacy. Relations with India, of course, improved, but it would have anyways; India enjoys huge bipartisan support.
What about Obamacare, you may ask? Is that not his greatest legacy? It could have been: Obama achieved what Clinton and Democratic Presidents could not before: a National healthcare plan. But it is needlessly complicated, as a result of Obama trying to find a consensus with the Republicans. And its well on the way to being repealed.
Obama failed the Democrats domestically, and there is no doubt about that. His failure to help his party in domestic elections has led the democrats to a minority in State Governorships, Legislatures, and didn’t get a democratic house since 2008-10. Obama might have led the economy out of the 2008 recession, but the economic fracture led, in some ways, for the Trump Vote.
Is he the most successful Democrat since FDR?. the most consequential Democrat, yes. His success is debatable. One most however not forget that he was a dignified man, a humane person, who strived to do right by him.
Obama leaves a fractured world order, a hyperpartisian domestic arena, and a weak democratic party, which will be unable to preserve his legacy, or take a meanigful stand in the House.