“You voted for Trump? You gonna pay for that s**t.” With that, 46 year old Chicago resident, David Wilcox, was beaten, dragged, dumped and almost killed. A lone thug? Hardly. As Wilcox said: “They (the bystanders) intensified it, aggravated it, and made it more than it was.”
Legacies are not usually written while presidents are still in office. Sometimes, as with Truman and Roosevelt, it takes generations. (Truman’s keeps rising. Roosevelt’s keeps falling). But, never one to be shy, you’re getting the first ever Barack Obama legacy right here, right now.
I find that President Obama has two overarching legacies; race relations and constitution shredding. As you can see I’m starting with race relations. Virtually every country has at least one large minority ethnic group.
You can travel anywhere in the world and still get the same majority/minority comments. I have heard English Canadians (the majority) stereotype French Canadians as “lazy.”
In Israel the Ashkenazi Jews (the majority) can be quite condescending toward the Sabra (or native) Jews. And let’s not talk about Sunnis and Shiites. So, yes, America has a long history of black/white relations marked by slavery, terrorism (the KKK), segregation, civil rights, and coexistence.
And then in 2008 it happened. Barack Obama became the first black president of the United States of America. In his first few months his approval rating reached 80 percent.
The whole country felt good about itself.
That was then. Few people noticed that President Obama’s first official act was to end the Washington, D. C. student choice program; a big bone to the teachers’ union and a back-of-the-bus slap at the kids. Then the Harvard professor climbed through his own window and President Obama hastily declared, “The police acted stupidly.”
If President Obama had a son “he would look like Trayvon Martin.” Al Sharpton became his go-to adviser on race relations, having left Reverend Jeremiah Wright behind.
The intimidating young man in front of the Philadelphia voting location was not prosecuted by then U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. A pattern emerged. His approval ratings dropped sharply. Our post-racial president went from healer to divider, and never stopped to look back.
The police were always wrong. The "homies" were always excused. The president always had his thumb on the scale. And that brings us full circle to David Wilcox. Not only will his muggers not get caught but, just as bad, the president of the United States will never admonish the #neverTrumpers to become civil. It’s the Obama legacy: Power to the punks.
The other legacy is even more threatening. We have the oldest living constitution on the planet. It is short (18 pages), readable, simple and powerful. It protects rights, not interests.
It leaves people alone so long as they leave other people alone. You could sum up our constitution in two words, no coercion.
Our constitution is so elegant that people often have trouble understanding the premises supporting our fundamental principles. Barack Obama understands and he went for the jugular: Checks and balances.
Our Founding Fathers had an enormous fear of politicians. So they wrote a constitution that had three coequal branches of government — each with limited power. In other words, if you couldn’t get agreement from the other branches your agenda would fail.
The underlying premise: Each of the three branches would zealously guard their constitutional prerogatives. An attempt by one branch to overreach would be met with quick and strong resistance. Or so we thought.
Barack Obama knew better. He knew that Democrats (in a tradition as old as Karl Marx’s socialism) could always be counted on to put their party ahead of their country or its “law of the land,” the Constitution. With a healthy government a president could never declare: “I've got a pen and I've got a phone.”
After all, Congress is Article I in our Constitution, ahead of Article II, the Executive. But every Congressional Democrat gave President Obama the green light to run the country by executive order, Hugo Chavez style.
The Obama legacy — power to the president.
Needless to say, President Trump will never get the same power. Republicans respect the Constitution. So President Trump will have to sell, cajole, bargain and compromise, just as the Founding Fathers wanted. And what about the next Democratic President?
If they go the “pen and phone” route our country will inevitably fail. Obama’s “strong man” government threatens our basic checks-and-balance form of government.
The Trump administration has four years to find an antidote for this grotesque executive overreach. Historically, Republicans have a very poor record of rolling back unconstitutional liberal practices.
The Obama legacy is now written.
The Trump legacy starts today.
Sid Dinerstein is a former chairman of the Palm Beach County Republican Party. He founded JBS Associates, a 600-person financial service company, and currently combines politics and business with Niger Innis in Inclusive Elections LLC, a firm that brings urban electorate voters to the GOP. He is the author of "Adults Only: For Those Who Love Their Country More Than Their Party." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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