Did Obama really create Trump?
- I don’t believe that the American president fathered Donald Trump and his followers
- The polarization and paralysis in Washington are not the exclusive domain of Democrats and/or the current president
- It is time that Jindal and company stop diagnosing the wrong illness and prescribing the wrong medication
In “President Obama created Donald Trump,” an article published in the March 4 issue of the Wall Street Journal, the former governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal contends that President Obama’s undesirable policies and inadmissible omissions created arguably the most controversial and probably the most distrusted of the 2016 Republican presidential candidates.
“Let’s be honest: There would be no Donald Trump, dominating the political scene today if it were not for President Obama,” writes the former governor of Louisiana. Although I don’t wholeheartedly agree with President Obama’s policies, hesitations, and ambiguities, I don’t believe that the American president fathered Donald Trump and his followers.
Bobby Jindal does not seem to ardently support Trump’s ideas (what ideas?) and his vitriolic barrage against Obama is another indication that it is this very antagonistic and acerbic language that
inspired and encouraged the followers of Donald Trump. The former governor of Louisiana is actually adding fuel to the anti-Obama rhetoric and animus.
“Imagine if Mr. Obama had actually worked with Republicans in an open process to bring down health-care costs—instead of pushing through, on a partisan vote, the largest expansion of government-welfare programs in a generation,” claims Jindal. The polarization and paralysis in Washington are not the exclusive domain of Democrats and/or the current president. Even some Republicans conceded that they were partly responsible for the political gridlock in the nation’s capital. Blaming Obama for America’s ills and so-called weaknesses is disingenuous and deceitful.
“Over the past seven years America could have been transformed in an inspiring way if its education system had been opened up, if its energy policy had been liberated, if the entire approach to
governing had been overhauled,” writes Jindal. Unfortunately, Jindal is one of the many fear-mongers and fact-deniers who are, willingly or unwillingly, powering Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Peggy Noonan, a prominent conservative intellectual and a primary speechwriter to President Reagan, wrote in the March 5-6 issue of the Wall Street Journal: “For me the Republican Party was always the vehicle of a philosophy, conservative political thought—no more, no less. I have the past 10 years been its critic on wars and immigration, on the establishment’s self-seeking and failures of imagination. And yet at the prospect of the party’s shattering I feel somewhat shattered too. So many lives, so much effort went into its making.”
The government reported last week that employers added 242,000 workers in February, a significant increase that underscored the labor market’s persistent gains. Four years ago, the unemployment rate was 8.3 percent. Today, it is 4.9 percent. Although wages have slightly decreased, many economists are optimistic about the economy’s future prospects.
There is no doubt that people are still worried about the economy, particularly jobs in better-paying industries that are mostly held by blue-collar white men. The popularity of Donald Trump (the Republican candidate) and to a lesser extent that of Bernie Sanders (the Democratic candidate) is sustained by this fluctuating and, at times, antithetical employment landscape.
The American economy is still struggling in certain industries and regions. However, we are still the envy of the world when it comes to economic sustainability and growth.
In China, for example, economic imbalances have grown massively and could profoundly derail the economy. The socioeconomic dichotomy is the most salient feature of today’s China, where despair and hope paradoxically coexist. The question of how to bridge this gap, which inexorably threatens to precipitate social turmoil, is a priority that Chinese leaders cannot afford to ignore.
Why is the Republican establishment, including Jindal, discombobulated and puzzled over Trump’s meteoric rise? One more time, “l’enfer, c’est les autres,” as Sartre would say. Republican leaders and pundits have “conveniently” abandoned their sense of ownership and are barking up the wrong tree. This mindlessness and preposterousness have been the origin of this ideological drift and the bastardization of the Republican values.
Without comparing the political situation to the Weimar Republic, let’s not forget that the moderate political parties in Germany failed to work together, although together they had more support than the Nazis. When the Republican establishment and opinion-makers held President Obama responsible for America’s misfortunes, they helped create this mushrooming and yet mostly unjustifiable outrage and bitterness that characterize Trump’s followers.
Trump’s supporters are mostly white and do not have significant college education. They are infatuated by his promise to abuse his presidential powers to advance his so-called economic and political agenda. This is decidedly unconstitutional and reminiscent of authoritarian regimes which prey on the populace’s inflamed passions and profound disappointment at the current state of affairs.
The 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticized Donald Trump for not embodying Republican values and not exhibiting decent conservative comportment. Romney suffers from memory loss. Four years ago, he excoriated President Obama and disparaged almost half of the American population.
Trump is the vulgarized version of Romney.
Polls indicate that bitterly discontented white male voters are backing Trump in relatively large numbers. This deep disgruntlement does not necessarily stem from Obama’s “failed” presidency. It is rather caused by corporations sending millions of jobs abroad over the last few decades. If anything, and I don’t believe this deep-seated vexation was produced by a single overarching factor, corporations and businesses responsible for shipping jobs overseas are to be blamed for the present state of affairs.
It is time that Jindal and company stop diagnosing the wrong illness and prescribing the wrong medication.
Sometimes, “ l’enfer, c’est nous…”