By Friday this week, January 20, Mr. Barack Hussein Obama will recede from the international limelight—and perhaps from the memory of America’s moral majority—as the President of the most powerful nation on the earth hands over the baton to Donald Trump.
Obama’s imminent exit reminds me of how fast time flies.
If I was told far back in 2008 when his staff enlisted me in their campaign mailing list that Obama would leave the scene so ’soon’, I would hardly have believed it. And if the fever pitch celebratory carnival that engulfed the entire America especially the African American community with Obama’s victory was anything to go by, it would have been very difficult to believe that Obama would be leaving the scene with an underwhelming image deficit among America’s dominant Christian population. I was glued to the television the night he won the Presidential election in 2008. Tears of joy rolled down the cheeks of Jesse Jackson, Oprah Winfrey and many other black leaders. It was a dream come true, what they had struggled to get for centuries was unfolding before their eyes!
And yet, in my estimation, Obama stood at the intersection between what is morally right and what is politically expedient.
For sure, Obama did very well in fixing the American economy. From the onset he was clear-eyed and had a clean pair of glasses. He figured out what was at stake. He assumed power at a critical period when America was in deep recession. He put on the gloves, wore his boots and soiled his hands dirty as he set to work. The number of unemployed Americans reached unimaginable proportions in American history. There were foreclosures everywhere. Companies upon companies laid off workers as they closed shops. Disillusionment set in, but he was not fazed by them. The international lender and the world’s Father Christmas had become the most indebted nation on earth as factories were shipped away to China and Mexico. It was hard to believe. It was like the fabled American Dream had suddenly hit an iceberg like the Titanic.
That was the condition of the nation Obama inherited. But he was unafraid of the challenge; his heart did not drop to his boots, rather he was determined to die with his boots on. He rebuilt the American economy literally from ground zero, surrounding himself with the best America could offer. They were united in their vision, they thought outside the box and brought prosperity back to a failing and flailing nation by sheer willpower.
As he leaves office this week, Obama’s persona is beginning to ebb like the floodwaters. With the victory of Trump, it is clear now that the America of 2017 is no longer the America of 2008. Rhetoric alone does not make one a consummate leader. He is beginning to see that oratory, like power, has its limits. While his speech at the 2004 National Democratic Convention shot him to national limelight that paved the way for him to aspire to the highest political office in the land, Obama is beginning to see that he is leaving Americans more divided than ever as he hands over to a man with an extreme ‘authoritarian nationalism’.
For the eight years he held sway, no one was in doubt of his love for his country. He appealed to a diverse section of the American population as he laboured to court their friendship. But where he missed the road which will forever stand as a dangerous detour in his administration was his inability to separate the grain from the chaff. In his frenzied madness to appeal to a wider spectrum of the American voting audience, Obama could not differentiate what is sacred from what is profane. He ignored the biblical roots of America which is the epicentre of its values and preached ‘a different gospel.’ He threw morality overboard for political expediency in order to win majority of votes, even if they are coming from Satan. It was too late when Americans saw the deceit in his complicated personality when Newsweek Magazine dubbed him America’s first gay President.
However, as he takes a bow from the international scene, what should the world remember about the Obama Years? Long when memories must have faded, generations gone and parchments of his achievements gather dust in libraries and museums of America, what is it, for good or ill, that will stand as a testament that he passed this shore?
For me, it is not his forays in the economy. It is not his lack-lustre performance in his foreign relations, especially Africa and the Israeli Question. It is not his romance with the Muslim faith or how he expanded the political frontiers for people of colour in America. It is basically how he Sodomized and Gomorrahized America and the world.
For certain, Americans were on common ground when they voted for Obama, and that ground was his brilliance and his supposedly self-confessed Christian faith. But it was not long when his sly personality became evident. First he had bouts of controversy with his Pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright on matters of faith, giving us a peep into his religious space. Second he began an unusual and irritating romance with the gay and lesbian community that resulted in granting them constitutional right. Today, homosexual and lesbian lifestyles have become the new normal not only in America but all over the world. The LGBT community has swelled and become a political force. They have become so powerful that Obama in New York warned Christians at a fundraiser for the LGBT some few weeks ago that constitutional right was greater than religious right. In other words, he was telling the Christian community in America that gay right was more important than their religious freedom. He promoted all manner of funny behaviours and encouraged Africans and poor nations across the world to toe the line in exchange for cash. Today in America, many men have gone gay. It is the fad. Women who do not commit to such bizarre lifestyle are finding it increasingly difficult to marry because of the scarcity of eligible men that share their orientation.
Funny enough, many have not taken the time to ask why Trump won the Electoral College votes upon his authoritarian and ethnocentric personality that verge on national irredentism. He did not win because of the votes of blue states and red states. He did not win because of Latino votes and African American votes. He won because Americans wanted to take back their country from the cliff edge of moral precipice it was headed to during the Obama presidency. He won not because Americans hated Hillary Clinton and loved Trump more. He won because they wanted to remind Obama and the world that America is still God’s Own Country and that they still trust in God.
As he takes his exit January 20, may God give him the grace to live long enough to see the evil he has wrought upon the world, and the strength too to repent of the infamy.