There’s a reason for Donald Trump’s unprecedented popularity at this moment in time, and it has just as much to do with President Barack Obama as it does Trump’s personality or accomplishments.
Obama has spent the last seven years defining an anti-Trump. Most American’s knew they wanted something on the opposite side of the spectrum from what they had endured for the better part of a decade. Before last year, however, such a candidate didn’t exist.
Though there are many well-qualified candidates running on the Republican side, Trump, with all of his negatives, is the antithesis of Obama.
Consider the following.
Foreign and Domestic Policy
Obama’s foreign policy was always ideologically driven. Obama believed that if he expressed how “not great” America was, and publicly committed to ending America’s wars, somehow extremist ideologues would cease and desist. The reality has been the rise of the Islamic State, the cultural collapse of Europe, confusion in Afghanistan, and a Nobel Peace Prize.
Trump doesn’t offer details; he gives end states. Obama wants mass immigration; Trump wants to build a wall. Obama says close Guantanamo; Trump says bring back waterboarding. Obama says thank you and God bless you to Planned Parenthood; Trump says the Planned Parenthood abortion business “should absolutely be de-funded.” Obama ignores Christian persecution in Syria; Trump brings national attention to persecuted Christians. Obama says America has shown arrogance; Trump declares America is going to start winning again.
Religion and Islam
Obama’s presidency began with a disgraceful apology tour, and was sustained by anti-Christian rhetoric. Conversely, Trump has gone out of his way to call out Islamic extremism and claimed, “as president [he] will not allow Christianity to be consistently attacked and weakened.”
Trump has been criticized for having “false Christianity.” But American’s aren’t looking to elect an evangelical that can fill in for Franklin Graham on any Sunday mornings. They just want someone who will represent American exceptionalism and strength. They are less concerned with Trump’s inability to pronounce Second Corinthians, because they know he would never pander to the religion that is currently the epicenter of many of the world’s problems.
Obama tried to play shrewd negotiator. In an attempt at "good-ol-boy" politics, he promised the outgoing Russian president that he would “have more flexibility” after his election. To which Medvedev assured Obama that he “[would] transmit this information to Vladimir.” Since then, Putin has been playing Obama like a Russian balalaika, and Obama has remained true to his promise of flexibility by bending over and backwards to Russian aggression. Through it all, American’s have realized that the global community was just too big for a community organizer.
Trump stated early in his campaign that he thinks he would get along with Putin, and even received a compliment in return. Is this true mutual respect or just two savvy leaders already engaged in the game of thrones? Trump might not be the answer to curbing Russian aggression, but Americans know that the anti-Trump utterly failed.
Obama’s bid for the presidency received the full support of the mainstream media. From the beginning, the media went to unprecedented lengths to insulate Obama from having to address his radical history and acquaintances.
Trump, on the other hand, has called out the media from the very beginning. He has repeatedly made it clear that it is him and his supporters against the political and media establishment — something that is admired by everyone outside of those institutions.
Finally, Obama has become the vanguard of the political correctness movement. Since taking the oath of office, Obama made sure to halt the use of the phrase “global war on terrorism” — smartly pointing out that you can’t be at war with a tactic. Furthermore, almost beyond belief, Obama has yet to use the phrase “Islamic extremism.” The rationale, of course, is that Islam is a religion of peace and terrorism has nothing to do with Islam.
No one ever believed the U.S. was at war with a tactic. We know that the global war on terrorism was a war against extremists — of the Islamic variety. No rational American believes that the religion of Islam has nothing to do with the Islamic State or Al Qaeda.
This is what results when someone pledges allegiance to political correctness; context and thoughtful reasoning are abandoned and certain words and phrases become taboo — immediately halting intelligent debates. This is anti-Trump logic, and people have grown to hate it.
On To Victory?
Trump recently mentioned that Obama was lucky he didn’t run in 2012 because he would have been a one-term president. I’m not sure that is true. I think Americans needed another term of the anti-Trump and his fundamental transformation of America.
In an election cycle full of extremely capable and well-credentialed candidates, voters are motivated more by ideas that are diametrically opposed to the status quo, then agendas that have the potential to progress through partisan entrenchment.
Americans may never have envisioned a Donald Trump presidency, but after seven years of losing, they are ready for someone to start the process of making America great again. What does that even look like? Who knows, but people believe it’s the opposite of the diminished America that Obama will leave behind.
Feature Image: AP photo
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