The ugly American: It’s not really about Trump

First, let me get this out of the way . . . Donald Trump is a loudmouth, arrogant, narcissistic, racist, misogynist pig. Have I made my feelings clear?

When he labeled African countries as “shitholes,” everybody (including women) got their balls in an uproar. Donald Trump has consistently been making statements like that since his campaign began. There is nothing really new here, he has already insulted immigrants, African-Americans, Latinos, Mexicans, gays, the disabled, etc. Trump’s style is to say what many others think but know better than to verbalize. He is an outspoken reflection of what we are . . . racist, misogynist, and with a chip on our shoulders because we’re “exceptional.” That is how one might explain the racist and misogynist policies that have come out of Washington for centuries.

Meanwhile, the man who spent 8 years in the White House prior to Donald Trump, Barack Obama, never referred to African countries as “shitholes,” he merely bombed the shit out of Libya, expanded US military involvement in the Middle East (Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia) and supported the Saudi Arabia decimation of Yemen and Israel’s slaughter of Gaza), the Nazi coup and takeover of Ukraine, as well as the militarization of Africa (AFRICOM); and we were silent.

Why?

I would venture to say that it was because Obama has a nice All American family, is very intelligent, is engaging with people, was a symbol of hope, made great speeches, played basketball, often broke into song publicly and is a Black man, the first Black man ever to preside over this nation.

I, along with millions of my fellow Americans, were seduced into thinking that Obama would make a difference and that, in fact, there was hope. Wrong! The second time around, I knew better. He was just another representative of the ruling class effectively neutralizing any progressive movement for meaningful change.

While conservatives worked hard to sabotage his presidency, progressives, those who were angered by his policies, were reluctant to challenge him and his forementioned policies . . . they did not want to be perceived as racists.

We spent 8 long years thinking Obama was for us . . . he talked the talk but never walked the walk. Even when he presided over the bailout of Wall Street and the Banksters (over $700 million of our, the taxpayers, money) while offering little to the tens of thousands of average homeowners who suffered foreclosures on their homes as a result of the fraudulent actions of Wall Street. He, like the presidents before him, assumed a close and friendly relationship with Wall Street.

Barack Obama, a constitutional lawyer and having a more sophisticated understanding of the Constitution, did a lot of damage to our constitutional rights and protections. He expanded the powers of the executive office, much of which was unconstitutional, and we remained silent. Under Obama’s leadership, the police departments across the nation became militarized and we remained silent. Under Obama, whistleblowers were criminalized while those committing crimes were never prosecuted. And we remained silent. Under Obama, more immigrants were deported than under any other president. And we remained silent.

I could continue but the point is clear . . . Donald Trump is doing and will continue to do a great deal of damage to the lives of thousands and even millions of people. But, let’s be honest, the actions of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, as well as the many presidents that preceded them, had adverse effects and even resulted in death to millions of people around the world. The only difference is that Trump is an obnoxious, insulting piece of garbage who is willing to get in your face while the others would be more comfortable subtly stabbing you in the back.

The enemy is not the individual Donald Trump but the system, capitalism, that births the Donald Trumps of this world. Regardless of who occupies the White House, working people will get screwed. It is the nature of the system . . . capital reigns supreme, labor ain’t worth shit!

Dave Alpert has masters degrees in social work, educational administration, and psychology. He spent his career working with troubled inner city adolescents.

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