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THE LAST WORD: End of a global nightmare

OPINION: Why Trump may be a breath of fresh air into the global atmosphere that had been polluted by Obama’s megalomania

By Andrew M. Mwenda

Finally the nightmare called the presidency of Barack Obama that the world (but most especially America) has endured over the last eight years comes to an end. This self-inflated and self-styled “black man” imagined himself to straddle the globe like a colossus. He deluded himself into the belief that he was a man of boundless importance. He convinced himself that he alone understood the problems of the world and was singularly qualified to solve them.

Thus, when Nigerians were going into their last election, Obama recorded a video. “Hello. Today, I want to speak directly to you—the people of Nigeria (as who?)… For elections to be credible, they must be free, fair and peaceful. All Nigerians must be able to cast their votes without intimidation or fear. So I call on all leaders and candidates to make it clear to their supporters that violence has no place in democratic elections—and that they will not incite, support or engage in any kind of violence—before, during, or after the votes are counted. I call on all Nigerians to peacefully express your views and to reject the voices of those who call for violence…”

The message goes on and on telling Nigerians the obvious about how to manage their country as if they are little children. He behaved like colonialists. “The African,” Albert Switzer of Gabon fame once said, “is like a child and with children, nothing can be done without authority.” Obama epitomised this racist attitude. Yet many African elites cheered Obama. What, if it is not megalomania, possesses a man to believe that he is God-sent to advise everyone? When Burundi got into political trouble, again Obama recorded a video providing the answer to their political impasse. Even developed countries did not escape him. When the British held a referendum on exit from the European Union (EU), Obama volunteered to advise them on how to vote.

Thank God ordinary people of the world, but most especially the great people of America, rejected Obama’s self-appointed role of God’s apostle. In every election people voted as they wished and not as he preached. Finally in one of the greatest triumphs of human destiny, the American people turned to Donald Trump to deliver them from Obama’s megalomania.

It would be unfair to accuse Obama of inventing this tendency to preach to other nations on how they should govern themselves. It is a common characteristic of the Western nations and most pronounced in America among the liberal elite. But Obama took it too far. He would come to Africa to lecture us on how we should govern ourselves. And sadly assembled African elites would cheer him in loud admiration.

To paraphrase the words of Akena Adoko: of all the hundreds of human bubbles known to exist, none has ever been so skilfully puffed into existence, or ever soared so high or glittered so radiantly and none has ever bust with such an explosion. Yet this self-inflated sense of importance masked a deep-seated insecurity. Obama knew he had promised air to the American people and the world. But he hid this consciousness of underachievement behind the mask of self-importance.

He promised bipartisanship at home and yet presided over the most polarised period in American political history. Why? He disdained the kinds of bargaining that Lyndon Johnson and Bill Clinton did: calling individual Republican congressmen and women to the White House and talking to them at a personal level; listening to their points of view, striking compromising and integrating their views in the national political agenda. His sense of self-importance led him to believe that all he needed to win over his opponents was to preach to them through public exhortations. Republicans in Congress rejected this narcissistic attitude.

Congratulations Donald: Finally the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the USA has ended the nightmare called the presidency of Barack Obama that the world (but most especially America) has endured over the last eight years.

His promise of universal healthcare got bogged down in unprincipled compromises with pharmaceuticals and insurance companies, which watered it down. And the Republican Congress has promised to repeal it. He has presided over the slowest recovery from a recession. He has also presided over increased violence and mass incarceration of black people. It is under him that a movement called “black lives matter” was born.

How about on the international scene where his admirers presented him as a messiah coming to save the world? He scored minor victories with the Iran agreement and opening relations with Cuba. He promised to close Guantanamo Bay and failed. He promised to end American interventions abroad and instead created anarchy in Libya. He promised to talk to North Korea and did nothing. He promised to re-set relations with Russia and ended up worsening them. He put a red line on use of chemical weapons in Syria and failed to honour his word.

Having failed in almost every big and small initiative he started, Obama has been working hard around the clock to make life difficult for his successor. Trump has said he wants to improve relations with Russia. Yet Obama is imposing new sanctions on Russia, arguing that Russia is a threat to America and the West. Yet even an amateur geo-strategist would tell you that Russia is not and cannot be a big threat to America and the West.

Russia’s spending on the military is only about 10% of what NATO countries spend. Its GDP is only about 5% of the combined GDP of America and the EU. How can anyone so outmatched be a threat? It is obvious that all the actions of Russia, which Obama and his acolytes blame on President Vladimir Putin personally, are driven by fear – a sense that their country is being encircled. But looking at the fundamentals, the West needs to ask itself: who is the next competitor to Western global hegemony? Certainly it is not Russia but China whose economy is already larger than that of the USA in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP).

It is possible that China will lead Asia into rivalry with the West – for if it can win over India (the third largest economy in the world by PPP) and adds Japan, South Korea, Philippines and Indonesia, it will be in a position to shape the last half of the 21st century. Then the strategic question for the West is: on whose side should Russia be in this coming rivalry with Asia led by China? Obama’s policies are pushing Russia into China’s hands. Trump’s pro-Russia policy and hostility towards China seems more strategic. Congratulations Donald.

amwenda@independent.co.ug

 

 

10 comments

  1. Someone is in love with an orange man named Trump. Ebony and Ivory!

  2. At least Obama realized, and said that the Presidency is like running a relay race. You do your part and pass the batton to another. What would Mwenda say about the President who calls himself a cotter pin? and talks about the nation in terms of “my army”, “my treasury”, “my oil”, etc.

  3. Andrew, your Godfather Museveni has got a lucky break: Donald Trump won’t give a shit to the way Africa’s strongmen misgovern their countries. Obama was becoming a nuisance directing Susan Power, the US Ambassador to the UN, to castigate Museveni at one time.

  4. It is easier and better to deal with the devil you know.

  5. Obama did recognise the threat of China through his “Asian-pivot”. That’s why he aggressively pursued pacts like the trans-pacific partnership. The correct thing to do is not to make China ur enemy but to make China ur trade partner hence the Asian pivot. On the other hand mwenda u seem not to realise that Russia is a big bully illegally and with impunity annexing territories of other countries. It wud be a shame for the world’s sole surviving superpower to standby as Russia breaks international law on a daily basis. Russia had to he stood up to. If the united States does not act it’s position as a superpower is threatened. You are wrong mwenda.

  6. Mr. Mwenda, I read this article with such disbelieve and I in fact thought it was all a hoax. I am a Ugandan who currently lives approximately 40 minutes outside Chicago. I read your weekly articles because they are quite engaging and at times inspiring. My view on Africa and our leaders has changed (for the better), in part because of how you lay out the facts. However, to say that some of the scathing remarks you made about Obama are downright false, would be an understatement.
    History will judge Obama in a positive light given all his accomplishments especially being the first African American President and here’s why:
    Obama inherited an economy from the Bush administration that was losing approximately 800,000 jobs a month, and was indeed the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The unemployment rate was upwards of 10% and he leaves office with an unemployment rate under 5%, having had 75 consecutive months of job growth. This is not to say that he single handedly did this, however, his policies had a lot to do with this. If he’d let Detroit go bankrupt, that is, let the automotive industry collapse like the Republicans wanted, this discussion might be a whole lot different. In fact that’s the reason why you didn’t see many of the Republican Presidential candidates focusing on the economy as their central affair in the recently concluded Presidential election (which is usually the case).
    You mentioned that he presided over the most divided Congress and indeed his Congress had one of the lowest approval ratings in history. Let’s think back to what then Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell said in 2009- he stated that their main goal (the Republicans that is), was to make Obama a one term president. It’s not that Obama lacked in negotiation or cajolery, it’s the fact that Congress did not want to be seen as agreeing with him for fear of losing their jobs. Indeed Democrats lost the majority in the House and Senate in 2010, however, America re-elected Obama for a second term in 2012. How ironic!!! Obama recently had an interview with Lester Holt on NBC news where he stated that the very first time he went to meet the Senate to listen to the Republican views, he got word prior to his arrival that they would reject anything he suggested and even if he agreed with some of their policies, they’d change their minds on that issue so as not to be seen by their constituents or colleagues as agreeing with this black man. John Boehner, former Speaker of House even later attested to this after he resigned his job.
    Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act- this is my ‘cup of tea’ as I work in the Medical field. I heard many of my colleagues say that the American Health Care system was going to collapse if Obamacare came into play. The US health care system ranks 37th in the world according to WHO yet it is the most expensive, and among the worst in the developed countries. This is all a product of unchecked Capitalism. For example, drugs (known name brands not the generic stuff) purchased in the USA can be purchased across the border in Canada for as little as one third of the price. Obama’s idea with providing Universal Health Care was to bring more people into the insurance pool and help cover the 30 million uninsured Americans. This would help with primary health care, medical check-ups and the like. It’s because when many of these uninsured people come to the hospital and require treatment, they cannot be turned away due to the EMTALA act. However, when they receive a $50,000 bill from the hospital, they can choose not to pay, file for bankruptcy, and ultimately the tax payer has to cover those costs. By initiating Obamacare, we found that more people are seeking preventative care and avoiding seeking treatment when it’s too late. Indeed 20 million more Americans have health insurance under Obamacare and those doctors who were threatening leaving the country and quitting the profession are busier than ever. Let’s also mention that Obama’s opponent in the 2012 Presidential election, Mitt Romney, initiated a universal healthcare plan (similar to Obamacare) while he was Governor of Massachusetts and its working. The main problem with Obamacare today which many white presidents tried and failed to pass including Bill Clinton is the fact that it was successfully passed by a black man. While it has its flaws, recent polling shows that most Americans today, over 50% like it and even those who oppose it like some aspects of it. In fact due to its demonization by right wing media and the alt-right, many Americans when polled state that they prefer the Affordable Care Act to Obamacare, which is one and the same. Indeed its a work in progress.
    The claim that Obama presided over mass incarceration of black people is not just ill-informed, it’s preposterous. It’s true that the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement was born under his regime but it wasn’t because of him. Enter- smart phones. Americans especially Black Americans have experienced Police brutality since they first set foot in this country. Many had told tales of Police brutality but were always ignored or viewed and not credible just because of their skin color. It wasn’t until the 1991 case of Rodney King (RIP) was caught on video with four cops assaulting him while he was on the ground that people somewhat started to acknowledge that this sort of behavior existed. Despite all that evidence , all these cops were acquitted which led to the 1992 LA riots. By the time Obama came into presidency, more and more Americans were able to afford smart phones with cameras that could easily captured video at any given moment. The BLM movement rose from the fact that even when white America sees these acts of police brutality captured by smart phones, they either refuse to acknowledge that there’s a police problem when dealing with communities of color, are complacent or just downright unconcerned. President Obama worked with Former Attorney General Eric Holder to assuage drug sentences that mostly targeted minorities. He also granted more commutations than any other President in US history.
    As regards to Russia, it’s a known fact that Russia has always been a geopolitical foe to the US dating back to the cold war. Indeed the collapse of the USSR is what made the US the undisputed ‘top dog’. US intelligence agencies did state that there’s evidence that Russia interfered with the US election. It’s a known fact that Vladimir Putin prefers Trump to Hillary. The exact reason why is yet to be revealed, however, they are claims that Putin has quite a bit of ‘dirt’ on Trump and that he owes Russian banks lots of money. This can only mean that Trump is more likely to dance to the Russian tune. This remains to be seen, Watch this space.
    Obama was able to: negotiate the nuclear deal with Iran, order the killing of Osama Bin Laden (which was ballsy), normalize US-Cuba relations, sign the DACA act (Dreamers act), which prevents the deportation of immigrants who weren’t born here but came into the country at a very young age, sign the Lily Ledbetter Act which calls for equal pay for equal work for women, significantly reduce the prison population at Gitmo, sign the DOMA act for marriage equality, improve the image of the US around the world, more than double the stock market through sound economic policies, preside over an eight hour period where the US wasn’t actively trying to start unnecessary wars… Time would fail me to write all his achievements.
    Since he’s a human being presiding over a democracy and not a Monarchy, Obama came short on a few things such as; his response to the war in Syria, however, Syria did give up it’s chemical weapons after it was discovered that Assad used them on his people, conducting several drone attacks which often killed civilians, his response to the war in Libya, however, he cannot be blamed for failing to get white supremacists & birthers on the same page as him.
    Obama did more for the US than most Americans presidents in modern history. He eventually will go down as one of America’s greatest presidents. Your critique of his response to our African Democracies is not something he created but rather an American supremacy system that he found in place. Perhaps he’s guilty of even caring about Africa and having a message for it seeing that he’s got Kenyan roots. After all, most of the previous American Presidents didn’t even think Africa was significant enough to care about. Indeed that’s why they took a blind eye to Apartheid in South Africa and Mandela’s unjust imprisonment, which prompted the South Africans to seek military aid from Cuba, Obama indeed is a cool, calm and collected leader who gives hope to many and inspires many more. For him to be succeeded by Trump, who’s a known racist (based on the housing discrimination lawsuits he settled in the 90’s for refusing to rent his apartments to blacks), misogynist (based on his statements on women- enter- Rosie O’Donell, Megyn Kelly & many more), conman (enter- Trump university), alleged sexual predator (enter all the women who came forward with accusations during the campaign), self proclaimed pussy grabber (for lack of a better word), chauvinist, self aggrandizing, pompous,unstable, quick to anger, liar, tweeter-loose, white Supremacist (look at his cabinet), is beyond comprehension. If this man is not impeached but is able to succeed in his agenda, America is either going to implode or the world is going to explode. Watch this space.

  7. 1.Trump has hit the ground running lets see how the billionaires will run the show.
    2.Michelle Obama was a fashion icon,these days dresses are the in thing for ladies who work in offices.
    3.I liked the way Potus squeezed Flotus during the inauguration ball; here in Africa our men dont squeeze us.
    4.Cranes lost all the games coz .it was a punishment from God. he hates abusive people it served us right.After 40 years of waiting,we ended up only singing the national Anthem.
    5.Obama achieved these, during his reign(i)Bin Laden was killed(ii) With the consultation from M7,S.Sudan gained independence(iii)Financial Reforms and regulations in Wall street were strengthened(iv)Revamped the economy with 787 billion dollars.(v) Raised the hopes of the blacks; that was psychologically important.

  8. If your Idea of a narcissist and megalomaniac is Obama — what in the world would you call Trump.What Obama did in Foreign Policy was not an extraordinary departure from what American Presidents do — they spend time lecturing the rest of the world and exalting American exceptionalism? Or do you expect the black man to do it with more humility and subservience?! — some of the sentiments you express about Obama in a rather personalized fashion are so commonplace among garden variety Mississippi racists — a ‘connoisseur’ of racial attitudes will tell you that is the most base form of prejudice– its not very well thought out– usually just a reptilian brain response – a knee jerk reaction to black people who do not fit the racial mold racists have created for them. If Obama’s megalomaniac and narcissistic persona aligned with his foreign policy Russia would have been bombed when they annexed Crimea, Assad would have been deposed by any means necessary, torture would be the established interrogation method. American military power rather than diplomacy would have exercised in the very same ways your Trump wants and suggests will inform his policies.

  9. Looks like Trump is headed for warmongering, and is unlikely to be the healer he set about being…let’s see. Pity his predecessors such as Obama and Clinton do not give him space and are busybodying around his presidency…Bush left Obama to get on with it…hopefully for America, I am wrong

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