Election 2016: Of Lasts, Firsts and What If’s

September 25, 2016

clintontrumpIf for nothing else, the year 2016 will go down in the annals of American politics as historic. It marks the last year of the history making Obama administration, the first year that a major political party nominated a woman to be their Presidential nominee, and the year that out of a nation of over 300 million people, the best that the Democrat and Republican parties could do was to give the American people a choice between two candidates that the majority in both parties deem “unfavorable”.

Yet after looking back over the trail of foreign and domestic carnage of the last eight years I make no apologies when I openly admit I am counting down the end of the Obama administration with as much anticipation for the future as I did almost half a century ago as a wide eyed Kansas kid following the lead up to Neil Armstrong’s “one small step for man….” mission to the moon.

President Obama gave his last speech to the United Nations this week. A word search of the transcript shows he mentioned “Iraq” once, “Syria” twice and “Iran” thrice. The three most relevant countries on this planet regarding the spread of radical Islamic terrorism around the globe and they got barely a mention. What does get mentioned however is what we have become far too accustomed to these past eight years; A President of the United States so desperate to elevate himself above all others that the facts at hand don’t stand a chance.

How deep is Mr. Obama’s self-deception? Consider this opening statement: “As I address this hall as President for the final time, let me recount the progress that we’ve made these last eight years. From the depths of the greatest financial crisis of our time, we coordinated our response to avoid further catastrophe and return the global economy to growth. We’ve taken away terrorist safe havens, strengthened the nonproliferation regime, resolved the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomacy.”

Such hubris makes Neville Chamberlain’s 1938 “I believe it is peace for our time” seem down right harmless. (As long as you forget about that whole World War II thing of course.)

As much as I hate to admit it, I do truly wish I could just switch off my brain and blindly believe the President’s delusions. Anyone willing to look behind the Central Banks of Oz curtain knows the world economies are standing upon a low interest rate, money printing, currency manipulation house of cards, that there are more terrorist havens today than when the Great and powerful O snagged his ever so premature Nobel Peace Prize, and North Korea and Iran’s $150 billion bonus deal put nuclear proliferation on the verge of its greatest breakout in human history.

Throw in Mr. Obama’s preaching his ideological kitchen sink of gender, race and sexual orientation to the rest of the world and you’ve got a “checking off the boxes” speech incoherent to anyone dealing with the actual facts and consequences playing out on the ground today.

Thankfully such thinking has but only four months left. Or does it?

Hillary Clinton has pledged to “build” upon Obama’s legacy. Considering that there were enough voters blind to reality in 2012 to give Barack Obama a second term, the odds of a Hillary Clinton becoming the first Chief Executive to be elected on a platform of compounding the failures of the past on the ignorance of the present is more than just the antithesis of our Founding Father’s dream, more than our future’s worst nightmare, it is a far too possible reality.

While some push fear of a “what if” Trump Presidency, it is the “what will” certainty of a Clinton one that scares the hell out of me.

PUBLISHER’s NOTE:  A version of this column first appeared in the Sunday, September 25, 2016 print edition of the Joplin Globe.

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