For almost all his terms in office, Obama has been fighting an uphill battle to secure even the most basic of decencies for the majority of the American people. How things might have been different had there not been a brick wall of Republicans in the House of Representatives to penetrate.
All of whom the American people voted for.
How could this have come about? Part of the explanation might be that American morality as a whole seemed to seismically shift at some point after 9/11 and stubbornly refused to allow good old common sense and decency back into the ring. Everything it seemed was governed by the rather fallacious “war on Terror” which appears to have impacted negatively on personal freedom, the entrenchment of racialism and propagation of inequalities across the board.
On the back of all these shenanigans, the stories I’ve heard about the lack of opportunity to make even the most basic of lives for young people, the poor and disadvantaged has left me speechless.
From what I’ve seen, Obama really wanted to make things better, to do the right thing.
Sure, I get that you can’t and probably shouldn’t make your whole life about giving folk a hand up unless you’re an evangelist, that would be daft. No, but at least a tiny fraction of the national endeavour could be set aside for building substance into the US economy which provides opportunity to everyone and not just those who act harder, more selfishly and who ruthlessly capitalise on the misery of their fellow Americans. That, it seems to me, was all Obama was trying to do. No great hardship really, especially at a time when America, as a nation, has never been more wealthy. But, therein lies an even darker reality.
During this period of unprecedented wealth, America has become a world leader in child poverty.
BY 2015, OVER THE PREVIOUS 6 YEARS, THE NATIONAL WEALTH OF AMERICA ROSE BY $30 TRILLION DOLLARS, IN THE SAME PERIOD CHILD HOMELESSNESS INCREASED BY 60%. (UNICEF)
That is some record to contend with. America! Arguably the greatest nation on the planet has single-handedly skewed the GLOBAL figure for child poverty. Think about it.
I’ve thought about it and I believe we in Europe don’t know the half of the troubles the American people have endured (and still are!) and unless we, the people of the UK, become extremely direct and blunt about the kind of country and the kind of EUROPE we want to live in we are likely to head the same way and vote into office our own brand of Trump.
And before any of you EuroObsessionists start, I know we’re not in Europe anymore but I happen to be one of those people who believes that in the 21st Century borders mean very little. We in the UK are a part of Europe whether we like it or not and if the stuffed shirts and megalomaniacs in Brussels or wherever the hell else they happen to have set up camp this week plans to tell me any different they can fuck off and dig themselves a pit of dreams because they DO NOT live in the real world.