I have been broadcasting for 31 years and writing for longer than that. I do not recall ever saying on radio or in print that a president is doing lasting damage to our country. I did not like the presidencies of Jimmy Carter (the last Democrat I voted for) or Bill Clinton. Nor did I care for the “compassionate conservatism” of George W. Bush. In modern political parlance “compassionate” is a euphemism for ever-expanding government.
But I have never written or broadcast that our country was being seriously damaged by a president. So it is with great sadness that I write that President Barack Obama has done and continues to do major damage to America. The only question is whether this can ever be undone.
This is equally true domestically and internationally.
Domestically, his policies have had a grave impact on the American economy.
He has overseen the weakest recovery from a recession in modern American history.
He has mired the country in unprecedented levels of debt: about $6.5 trillion — that is 6,500 billion — in five years (this after calling his predecessor “unpatriotic” for adding nearly $5 trillion in eight years).
He has fashioned a country in which more Americans now receive government aid — means-tested, let alone non-means-tested — than work full-time.
He has no method of paying for this debt other than printing more money — thereby surreptitiously taxing everyone through inflation, including the poor he claims to be helping, and cheapening the dollar to the point that some countries are talking about another reserve currency — and saddling the next generations with enormous debts.
With his 2,500-page Affordable Care Act he has made it impossible for hundreds of thousands, soon millions, of Americans to keep their individual or employer-sponsored group health insurance; he has stymied American medical innovation with an utterly destructive tax on medical devices; and he has caused hundreds of thousands of workers to lose full-time jobs because of the health-care costs imposed by Obamacare on employers.
His Internal Revenue Service used its unparalleled power to stymie political dissent. No one has been held accountable.
His ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were murdered by terrorists in Benghazi, Libya. No one has been blamed. The only blame the Obama administration has leveled was on a videomaker in California who had nothing to do with the assault.
In this president’s White House the buck stops nowhere.
Among presidents in modern American history, he has also been a uniquely divisive force. It began with his forcing Obamacare through Congress — the only major legislation in American history to be passed with no votes from the opposition party.
Though he has had a unique opportunity to do so, he has not only not helped heal racial tensions, he has exacerbated them. His intrusions into the Trayvon Martin affair (“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon”) and into the confrontation between a white police officer and a black Harvard professor (the police “acted stupidly”) were unwarranted, irresponsible, demagogic, and, most of all, divisive.
He should have been reassuring black Americans that America is in fact the least racist country in the world — something he should know as well as anybody, having been raised only by whites and being the first black elected the leader of a white-majority nation. Instead, he echoed the inflammatory speech of professional race-baiters such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.
He has also divided the country by economic class, using classic Marxist language against “the rich” and “corporate profits.”
Regarding America in the world, he has been, if possible, even more damaging. The United States is at its weakest, has fewer allies, and has less military and diplomatic influence than at any time since before World War II.
One wonders if there is a remaining ally nation that trusts him. And worse, no American enemy fears him. If you are a free movement (the democratic Iranian and Syrian oppositions) or a free country (Israel), you have little or no reason to believe that you have a steadfast ally in the United States.
Even non-democratic allies no longer trust America. Barack Obama has alienated our most important and longest standing Arab allies, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Both the anti–Muslim Brotherhood and the anti-Iran Arab states have lost respect for him.
And his complete withdrawal of American troops from Iraq has left that country with weekly bloodbaths.
Virtually nothing Barack Obama has done has left America or the world better since he became president. Nearly everything he has touched has been made worse.
He did, however, promise before the 2008 election that “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” That is the one promise he has kept.
— Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His most recent book is Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.