The way things are going, nothing President Barack Obama says or does will dislodge the incredulousness that takes over people around the world when they look at politics in the USA today.
Since he took office in 2008, Obama has given well over 300 speeches, many of them seminal and groundbreaking in which he addressed prevailing issues of national and international relevance. They were all very moving.
But these days he is at a loss for words in the face of recurring and dramatic evidence of disfunctionality with 24-hour news cycle dominated by guns, violence, racial discord and Donald Trump.
Sadly, deep in his heart, Obama knows that he is the cause of much of what ails his country today and there is nothing he can do about it…poor guy is impotent in the face of the madness.
It wasn’t like that eight years ago when he took office as America’s first Black president. A brilliant young lawyer with a keen insight of the political system and what appeared to be a runaway popularity among the American people. The possibilities and potential seemed endless to the extent that there was talk of the ushering in of the “post racial era.”
But what wasn’t accounted for was the hate that a not so small minority carries in their hearts for Obama, for no other reason except that he is Black.
And because he can’t change who he is or his skin color, his detractors have decided that they will never like him, and from Day One began to react to his presidency.
First thing they did was very American: they decided to get their guns. The number varies, but there’s no disputing that gun production has more than doubled during his presidency, in fact it went up by 114 per cent by 2013, the last time data was checked.
The year before he took office, manufacturers were delivering about 4.5 million firearms on average a year, by 2013 that number jumped to well over 10 million per year.
More than that, during his presidency Americans went out and bought more than 100 million firearms.
And they killed people with those guns.
There has been 16 or more mass shootings since Obama took office with maniacs blowing people away in cinemas, elementary schools, community centres, army bases and on the street.
The more Obama talked the more they shot and killed people. And the killing is expected to continue until he leaves office.
There’s a sense of resignation when he was quoted as saying, recently: “I’ve seen how inadequate my own words have been.”
Also, although it’s difficult to make the co-relation, people around the world watched as the already tortured relations between Blacks and police dropped to a new low during the Obama years.
Whether or not there have been more incidents of police murder of innocent Black men seem inconsequential, especially because of the heightened emotions that surround every act of police brutality and the impunity that comes with them.
Those relations are now at an all time low since two recent incidents of young Black men in apparent acts of retaliation killings of about nine police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Probably the most potent by-product of the hatred that America carries for Obama has come to live in the candidacy of Donald Trump, who for many years championed the anti-Obama crusade through the so-called “birther” issue before he developed the gall to present himself as a candidate.
At any other time Trump’s candidacy would’ve been seen for what it is: hate-mongering and without substance. Instead the Obama haters have rallied around it and helped it grow into a political force that now threatens to defile American politics for good.
In less than a year Trump has made it OK to race-bait; spew anti-immigrant nastiness; insult women and to promote lies all normal, normal. He wears his badge of ignorance with pride and he has millions of haters lined up in locked-steps behind.
With that batch anything goes and nothing is sacred. There stood his wife at the Republican convention openly plagiarizing a speech delivered by Michelle Obama eight years ago. No big deal because she’s right in the race-baiting game.
And even as Obama tries to bring the remnants of his lingering popularity in support of Hilary Clinton in the 2016 campaign, his message and his eloquence, which eight years ago held the world in awe are now lost in a babble of dotish talk and hate-filled rhetoric now flowing from Trump and his people.
For all who believed in the Obama promise of “Yes, We Can” this is not the way America was supposed to go. The forces of hate and division are on the move.