4 August 2015

Obama: Was It All Just Hype?

Due to the Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution, Barack Obama is ineligible to stand for a third term and will see his successor elected on 8th November 2016. It seems a long way away but the presidential election campaign began a few months ago and will run for the entirety of the time. The elected president in November 2016 wont assume office until 2017, making the campaign trail go on for nearly two years. During this time, the candidates will spend billions of dollars on advertising, promotions and propaganda. Notably, there has never been a winner of a presidential election that didn't spend the most out of all the candidates. 

Obama’s successors look to be bleak, contrasty charismatic to Obama and as far as Trump goes, pushing hyper-capitalism and sitting on the extreme right. When Obama was elected in November 2008, America felt a wave of optimism wash over them in an awesome way. Since he assumed office, one would be mistaken to think that they didn't have a black president at all with racial crimes increasing vastly over the past few years. And, a brand new civil war has started between the police and African-Americans. One would have expected that having the first black president would have helped the black community. But, it seems that it’s done more bad than good.

The hype around Obama was amazing. America felt as if it was leading the world into a new age. Finally a politician that is charismatic and listens to the people. However, what has Obama done since taking office? Whilst in Britain, Gordon Brown was booted out of Downing Street for ‘ruining’ the economy due to the collapse of an American bank, Obama sat through the disaster and allowed his charisma to help him blame the previous administration. However, after passing the stimulus, $787 billion was poured into the American economy and attempted to bring the country out of the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression. He also passed Wall Street reform which attempted to regulate the entire entity including banks.

Obama pushed healthcare from the word go. He tiresomely pushed Obamacare and many declared it was a war against the civil rights. Amazing that free health car would actually be rejected at times of hardship. Although there was much aggravation, Obama passed the healthcare bill and covered 32 million uninsured Americans with healthcare. Something five presidents had tried to do but failed miserably.

In December 2011, the illegal Iraq War ended after the final troops left the country. Furthermore, Obama was incumbent when the most wanted man on the planet, Osama bin laden was eliminated. Not only did he take out bin laden but he also eliminated Moammar Gaddafi. But, he has also started to bomb Syria and has seen the rise of ISIS.

Obama probably can’t take enormous credit for the greatest civil rights act since the sixties with the legalisation of same-sex marriage but he was the incumbent and therefore takes his fair share of congratulations. 

He’s also been called America’s greenest president in history with his Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. As part of this act he’s boosting renewables to try and cut dependancy on fossil fuels. Although many argue that his action plan could cripple the economy and many suggest that it’s too late for climate action anyway, he, unlike other world leaders, is trying.

In terms of society, Obama hasn't been a good president. Gun crime has increased, racial crime has increased, the American gender pay gap is still in existence and he’s overseen the new civil war. Economically, he’s been brilliant. He’s invested into the economy and it has proved to be a success. To judge Obama’s foreign policy, one would have to choose how foreign policy should look as he’s eliminated terror suspects, bombed the middle east but also ended the illegal war and seen a withdraw in Afghanistan. Some of Obama’s biggest successes have been in tackling climate change and he will inevitably been remembered for them. But it is Obamacare that will be his legacy. A reform to healthcare that five previous president failed to do. 

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