Donald Trump promised America big changes in our government and, boy, did he ever deliver! He was the first president to appoint unqualified people to half of the high government offices and leave the other half empty. He was the first president to repeatedly side with our adversaries while attacking our allies and our own law-enforcement agencies. Big changes, indeed.
Changes may be good or bad. I think Obama and the Democrats are better at changing government than Trump.
For example, Obama’s response to the Ebola pandemic was, too, a major change from past policies. Republicans demanded that he stop all flights from and to West Africa. Obama chose not to listen to that widely held conventional wisdom. Rather, he sent multiple U.S. military medical units to work alongside doctors from home and from allied nations to stop the pandemic at its source. Obama worked with CDC, CIA, Homeland Security, and other offices to find funds to underwrite a complex, highly coordinated plan. This plan stopped the spread of Ebola in all countries in Africa, in the U.S., and around the world.
The military industrial complex and its supporters in the Republican Party called for a new “surge” of U.S. forces to Iraq to quell the spread of ISIS. Instead, Obama, with Democrats’ support, withdrew U.S. combat forces from Iraq, leaving only advisors and air sorties in place.
Iraqi forces then slowly but surely cleared Iraq of ISIS, driving it back to its headquarters in Raqqa, Syria. Then, joined by Syrian rebels and Kurds, Iraqis cleared Raqqa of ISIS. ISIS is no longer a threat to the Middle East.
Rather than applying economic sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, Obama sanctioned only individual oligarchs, criminals in top-ranking posts in the Russian government. This dramatically new approach to sanctions would not hurt the entire Russian population, but only those responsible for the invasion. The oligarchs were criminally indicted in the U.S. and their holdings in the U.S. were frozen. Obama also succeeded in getting our European and North American allies to adopt the same set of sanctions. It was an extremely successful innovation in diplomacy.
This new type of sanction was so effective, that Russians spent tens of millions to subvert the 2016 U.S. elections in favor of the candidate who seemed most likely to lift the sanctions on Russia. In fact, the day Trump took office, he began efforts to lift the sanctions on Russia that resulted in a bipartisan bill that expanded the Obama sanctions.
Obamacare is a medical insurance plan that provided medical insurance for about 30 million Americans who did not have it. For all Americans it ended pre-existing conditions justifying denial of insurance, extended the age limit of children staying on their parent’s insurance from 18 to 26, put an end to lifetime and annual limitations on insurance, to name a few changes Obamacare made for the American population.
So, I see a big difference between good changes and bad ones.
Evidence like that above forces the conclusion that Barack Obama and the Democrats represent more good changes—brilliant new ones at that — than the administration of the man who promised to “drain the swamp.”
(Sunbury Daily Item, July 22, 2018)