“Trump wants to be Obama — held in high esteem. But, alas, Trump is Trump, and that is now and has always been trashy.” ~ Charles M. Blow of The New York Times
“Trump has a thing about Barack Obama. Trump is obsessed with Obama. Obama haunts Trump’s dreams,” The Times began, adding that “One of Trump’s primary motivators is the absolute erasure of Obama — were it possible — not only from the political landscape but also from the history books.”
“Trump has questioned not only Obama’s birthplace but also his academic and literary pedigree. He was head cheerleader of the racial “birther” lie and also cast doubt on whether Obama attended the schools he attended or even whether he wrote his acclaimed books.”
Blow concludes that Trump is jealous of Obama, he’s like a “It’s like a 71-year-old male version of Jan from what I would call the Bratty Bunch: Obama, Obama, Obama.”
Trump wants to be Obama — held in high esteem. But, alas, Trump is Trump, and that is now and has always been trashy. Trump accrued financial wealth, but he never accrued cultural capital, at least not among the people from whom he most wanted it.
Therefore, Trump is constantly whining about not being sufficiently applauded, commended, thanked, liked. His emotional injury is measured in his mind against Obama. How could Obama have been so celebrated while he is so reviled?
Continuing, Blow explains that Trump’s problems are not just at home – they are abroad as well, writing that: “The whole world seemed to love Obama — and by extension, held America in high regard — but the world loathes Trump.”
Elaborating, Blow cites a Pew Research Center report issued this week that found that:
Trump and many of his key policies are broadly unpopular around the globe, and ratings for the U.S. have declined steeply in many nations. According to a new Pew Research Center survey spanning 37 nations, a median of just 22 percent has confidence in Trump to do the right thing when it comes to international affairs. This stands in contrast to the final years of Barack Obama’s presidency, when a median of 64 percent expressed confidence in Trump’s predecessor to direct America’s role in the world.
Continuing, Blow writes that “It is not a stretch here to link people’s feelings about Obama to their feelings about his blackness. Trump himself has more than once linked the two.”
After elaborating on that connection, Blow concludes his piece writing that “Trump was sent to Washington to strip it of all traces of Obama, to treat the Obama legacy as a historical oddity. Trump’s entire campaign was about undoing what Obama had done.”
Indeed, much of what Trump has accomplished — and it hasn’t been much — has been to undo Obama’s accomplishments, like pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris climate agreement and reversing an Obama-era rule that helped prevent guns from being purchased by certain mentally ill people.
For Trump, even plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act aren’t so much about creating better policy as they are about dismantling Obama’s legacy. The problem with Obamacare isn’t that it hasn’t borne fruit, but rather that it bears Obama’s name.
For Trump, the mark of being a successful president is the degree to which he can expunge Obama’s presidency.