Monday, March 19, 2018

Words Vs. Deeds: Comparing Trump With Bush/Obama

How shall I criticize thee?  Let me count the ways.  Here is a list, in alphabetical order, of some of the harsh words that liberal Democrat and conservative Republican (anti-Trump) members of the Academic Political Media Industrial Complex (the establishment) use to describe President Donald Trump:

bigot
bullying
corrupt
deranged
disgusting
disturbing
egotistical
erratic
ignorant
impulsive
inarticulate
incompetent
liar
misogynist
moron
narcissistic
negative
problematic
stupid
unacceptable presidential behavior
unqualified
unstable
worst president

What about the words used to describe presidents George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.  Bush came in for his share of liberal criticism, but nothing remotely close to that of Trump.  Obama was uniformly praised.  To liberals, Obama walks on water.  To conservatives, save a very few, barely a peep of criticism could be read or heard.  Silence was acquiescense.

Perhaps some comparisons can put these markedly different treatments in perspective.

First, foreign policy.  Bush and Obama launched three wars:  Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya.  During their 16 years in office, U.S. military fatalities in Iraq and Afghanistan numbered 8,360.  Tens of thousands more were wounded, some requiring life care.  Several million civilians were displaced.  Trillions of dollars were spent.  Iran has gained influence in Iraq.  The Taliban still control large areas in Afghanistan.  Not a pretty picture.

Trump inherited this mess.  From his inauguration to March 15, 2018, U.S. war zone fatalities total 47.  Secretary of Defense James Mattis, fired by Obama, has stabilized the situation in both countries.

Second, economic policy.  Bush presided over the worst financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression.  Obama presided over the slowest post-recession recovery in decades.  Both presided over stagnant wages.  Between them, the national debt increased 300% (quadrupled), from $5 trillion to $20 trillion.

President Trump is presiding over the strongest job growth in decades.  He has managed, after decades, to cut the corporate tax rate to internationally competitive levels.  He has rolled back incentive-destroying regulations.

Third, social policy.  Obama set race relations back fifty years.  Trump has reached out to Blacks and Hispanics, who now enjoy the lowest unemployment rates since records have been kept.

I come from an older generation, guided by such phrases as “sticks and stones can break my bones, but names can never hurt me."

Now words are more damaging than deeds.  It’s alright to launch wars and shatter an economy, but  not to tweet!  I prefer tweets to wars and a financial crisis.

Is there anything that Trump can do to receive praise, however faint?  The only thing I can think of is for Trump to follow Nixon into history by resigning the presidency.  However, any such praise he receives at the moment will be short-lived and quickly give way to never-ending historical damnation. 

4 comments :

WILLIAM SOWLES said...

That's what happens when a thesaurus is on the internet. In a couple of years, the Trump economic and foreign policies will bear much fruit to the benefit of American and the world.

John Egan said...

Well... Actually, Obama did come under a lot of criticism during his 8 years in office... Does nobody recall the Right's calling him Marxist, fascist, Nazi, Maoist, Bolshevik, Trotskyite, Socialist, Muslim, Kenyan, etc.. etc.. because I sure do. Did everyone forget the effigies of Obama and his wife hanging from nooses in trees? I do.

And honestly, lumping Bush Jr's two Wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) their 5500 GI deaths and horrible expense (I've seen figures of $7.5 Trillion, or about 1/3 of our National Debt, even with the recent bump of Trump's tax giveaway).. seems unreasonable. The Libyan effort really was just an extension of the Arab Spring, which was really just an extension of the Iraq conflict.

The Libyan effort was a multi-national effort to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. There was no US loss of life, and as far as I can find (aside from Alex Jones and Breitbart) the total cost was $2 Billion? Obama put it this way during the presidential debate that it cost the United States less to help oust Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi than it did to run two weeks of the 2003-2011 war in Iraq.

And, Obama owned up that it was what he considered to be his big mistake.. Meanwhile, Bush, Cheney and Bolton still claim to this day that they were justified in entering Iraq.. even though we know that it was all based on lies, and as yet, none of these people have provided a sincere and believable reason for it.

In essence, lumping Obama's 'war' with Bush's makes as much sense as lumping medeival Measles outbreaks with the Black Plague. The two are worlds apart.

roberto tassi said...

"quickly give way to never-ending historical damnation." I do not agree. I believe that in 30 years time Obama will be forgotten (except for having been the first African American president) where Trump will be deeply studied and highly rehabilitated. He impersonates "the revolution" and the consequences of his action will take time to appear: Napoleon reigned 15 years in constant conflict but the measure of the meter was extended to the whole Europe unifying several hundred local measures with great benefit for all.

Dave Hamilton said...

What happened in Libya had consequences going forward. Looking at what happened to Qadafi why would any dictator ever give up his nuke program?