Google+

The Dreams from Obama’s America

 

The Dreams from Obama’s America

Dinesh Sharma

Source: Dinesh Sharma

Obama will be remembered as one of the greatest political orators of our times. His soaring rhetoric that swooned the audience in 2004 in Boston (There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.[1]), not too far from where the patriots fired the Heart-broken, American, Hillary Rodham Clinton, farewell address, politicsopening salvo of the American Revolution, was on display again at the farewell address at McCormick Place (Yes, we can. Yes, we did.[2]), near the South Side of Chicago where the young Barack broke his teeth in community organizing and electoral politics.

“It’s good to be home,” he told his followers, some of whom had waited for hours in the freezing temperatures near Lake Michigan to get a glimpse of their political avatar.

Obama’s peppered grey hair, hardened brow and wizened face showed the pain and sorrow of his nation — wary of two long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — and still reeling from the ominous rise of ISIL and ongoing security challenges.      

Heart-broken at the bitter loss of his chosen successor, Hillary Rodham Clinton, his followers seemed inconsolable — chanting repeatedly — “Four more years! Four more years!” Many were teary-eyed and weeping, overcome with nostalgia.

How could a president who still enjoys 60% approval[3] be denied long coat-tails as a symbolic third term? How could Americans who voted for the first Black president twice be so fickle and turn on him, despite the record of landmark achievements?

No doubt, the president accomplished a great deal in eight years, but his victories now rest on icy shores of Lake Michigan as a ‘hostile takeover’ of his legacy is already underway by the Trump supporters and the GOP in an attempt to “Repeal and Replace” the Affordable Care Act.

Obamacare, as it is known, is the first legislation on the chopping block. Republicans have attempted to repeal it multiple times; they may finally succeed, even though the GOP has no replacement in place.[4] What will happen to more than 20 million newly insured citizens, cried out Senator Bernie Sanders in the halls of Congress?

Obama’s regulatory regime, Dodd-Frank Act, may also be expunged as the millionaires and billionaires fill the Trump cabinet.[5] We have seen seven years of continuous job-growth and a buoyant market. Will the market remain steady or will it go through cyclical gyrations again?

Obama’s multilateral foreign policy may be gutted for a more muscular approach — attempting to reclaim American power around the globe — in the Middle East, Pacific, and Europe. “Make America Great Again” at home will translate to “America First” abroad.[6] Obama’s foreign policy achievements in Cuba, Iran, India and the Asia-Pacific may be reversed. Will this approach generate more anti-Americanism abroad?

Heart-broken, American, Hillary Rodham Clinton, farewell address, politics

Source: The Global Obama, Sharma and Gielen (Routledge, 2014)

President’s attempts to heal the racial divides at home, as the first Black president, seem now to be overwhelmed by the rise of Alt-Right and White ethno-nationalism.[7] Will Americans be able to unify under the new president?

President’s senior advisor David Axelrod has said, Trump is the antithesis of Obama.[8] This may be true just as the election of President Obama was partly a reflection of “the Bush fatigue” eight years ago.

Bruce Levine, a clinical psychologist writing in Huff Post diagnosed the problem — stripped of false realities, Americans are facing a political “psychotic break.” Levine said, “Every so often, the American societal-political veil lifts, and what was clear to George Carlin and other cynical nonvoters is difficult to deny even for voters skilled at denial.”[9] American dream seems to be in abeyance .  

President’s farewell address sounded the alarms on at least three big issues: growing inequality, racial division, and post-truth politics.[10] Add to this the growing sense of cyber-security threats — potential hacking of 2016 elections by the Russians confirmed by the intelligence community — the vulnerabilities of the American system seem precarious.[11] We know the DNC computers and the Federal personnel files have already been compromised by foreign entities.[12]  

Heart-broken, American, Hillary Rodham Clinton, farewell address, politicsThe Democrats lost more seats in the past eight years than in any previous administration in recent times.[13] Obama’s popularity may have waxed and waned through the two terms, but his approval abroad[14] and in the bi-coastal — multicultural, multiethnic, multiracial — enclaves of the new America, the so-called Obama coalition, always remained relatively high.[15]

He will always be America’s first Black president, with roots in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific — who could walk and chew gum at the same time — and who inspired the world to believe that King’s dream can come true — “I have a dream today. …That one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.”[16]

Source: Barack Obama in Hawaii and Indonesia, Sharma, Dinesh (Praeger, 2012)

In the long span of history, Obama’s legacy will be a shining moment at the onset of the 21st century when America rose up and lived out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”[17]

We must carry forward the dreams from Obama’s America!

Dinesh Sharma, Associate Research Professor at SUNY Binghamton University. is the author of “Barack Obama in Hawaii and Indonesia” and “The Global Obama.”

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDoT43BlJUo

[2] https://www.whitehouse.gov/farewell

[3] http://www.politicususa.com/2017/01/10/obamas-approval-rating-hits-60-percent-prepares-bid-nation-farewell.html

[4] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/12/us/politics/health-care-congress-vote-a-rama.html?_r=0

[5] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-10/trump-s-transition-team-pledges-to-dismantle-dodd-frank-act

[6] http://www.whio.com/news/trump-signals-shift-from-obama-focus-multilateralism/rKu6nfuKJo8bPxhCiSkYeK/

[7] http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/11/richard-spencer-speech-npi/508379/

[8] https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/25/opinion/campaign-stops/the-obama-theory-of-trump.html

[9] http://brucelevine.net/stripped-of-false-realities-americans-political-psychotic-break/

[10] https://www.whitehouse.gov/farewell

[11] https://www.dni.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/215-press-releases-2016/1423-joint-dhs-odni-election-security-statement

[12] http://motherboard.vice.com/read/fbi-flash-alert-hacking-group-has-had-access-to-us-govt-files-for-years

[13] http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/nov/14/obamas-legacy-democratic-losses-party-chaos/

[14] http://www.pewglobal.org/2016/06/29/as-obama-years-draw-to-close-president-and-u-s-seen-favorably-in-europe-and-asia/

[15] http://www.gallup.com/poll/121199/obama-weekly-job-approval-demographic-groups.aspx

[16] http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm

[17] http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/

Entertainment

For movies opening March 24, 2017

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening March 24, 2017 BIG BUDGET FILMS Chips (R for crude humor, graphic sexuality, frontal nudity, violence, drug use and pervasive profanity) Dax Shepard wrote, directed, produced and co-stars in this comedic screen version … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

The President’s Kitchen Cabinet

  The President's Kitchen Cabinet The Story of the African-Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas by Adrian Miller University of North Carolina Press Hardcover, $30.00 292 pages, Illustrated ISBN: 978-1-4696-3253-7 Book Review by Kam Williams “[This opus] vividly tells the stories of the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Castles in America

  Castles in America by Amy Lignor   Robin Leach and his “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” taught us all long ago that we absolutely love to sit and view ridiculous luxury (usually owned by people who inherited all of it and didn’t work a day in their lives). See that? We had to complain about something as we were beguiled by the amount … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

2017 Hobbies That Bring You Serenity

  2017 Hobbies That Bring You Serenity by Amy Lignor   Origami. Memory albums. Quilting. What do these have in common? Well, at one point or another in time, they have represented the “hottest” hobbies in the United States. Taking up hobbies are not only a fun thing to do for the “artistic/creative” type, but they also help to reduce … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

The Versatile Ballyhoo

  The Versatile Ballyhoo By Capt. Gus Cane When targeting reef and offshore gamefish, the versatile ballyhoo is an excellent bait choice. Fished whole or cut into chunks, ballyhoo will entice everything from snapper to dolphin to blue marlin. It’s readily available, either live or frozen, and can be rigged in a variety of ways. Although … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Will NASCAR Theatrics Bring Back Viewers?

  Will NASCAR Theatrics Bring Back Viewers? by Amy Lignor   For any of the millions who once watched ABC’s Wide World of Sports and heard the words “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat,” they remember the footage of a skier’s crash when it came to the “agony” side of things. Everyone knew that sight was a fact – a video that was … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

How Are Retail Sales in 2017?

  How Are Retail Sales in 2017? E-Commerce Reigns by Amy Lignor   Despite consumer uncertainty, as well as a very sluggish beginning to 2017, the U.S. retail sales industry is projected to increase 4% this year. Headlines show that many retailers and companies posted “soft” holiday sales to end 2016, which caused some notable … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Where to Vacation? Go Big or Stay Home!

  Where to Vacation? Go Big or Stay Home! by Amy Lignor We speak about luxury vacations, budget vacations, vacations that are fun for the kids, and many more areas of travel at this time of year. But there is also a category that many do not touch upon because they “assume” it is far too difficult for those on a budget to be able to enjoy … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible … [Read More its Good For You...]

Health

Making Your Health “Resolute”

  Making Your Health “Resolute” by Amy Lignor   It is time for those New Year’s Resolutions to be made. We all know the ones most likely being placed on lists everywhere: stop smoking and lose weight. Why? Because these have always been the top two when it comes to goals, so that the next time the ball drops you feel amazing that the … [Read More its Good for You...]