By the time most of us here in the Central Time Zone get around to eating our lunches Barack Obama will no longer be our president.
This thought brings to my mind a sense of relief. Barack Obama has been the worst President in my lifetime. A rigid, ideologically hidebound man who came into office with promises of unity but spent his years sowing division, discord, and hatred.
He inspired in his followers a sense that they were America’s chosen. He led them to believe that they are the most empathetic, tolerant, and intellectual citizens our nation has to offer. “We are the ones we have been waiting for,” he said during his 2008 campaign.
Obama’s people, they like to believe, are those who occupy the “right side of history.”
We dissenters? Bigoted, hateful speed bumps on the road to progress. No wonder Obama’s people are greeting the inauguration of President Donald Trump with violence and insolence. They really believe they’re fighting evil.
But as happy as I am to see Obama go, I am apprehensive here at the dawn of the Trump era.
If Obama created a wave of faction in our great country, Trump rode that wave into office. He cashed in on the resentment felt by Americans outside the cult Obama. As President, I’m afraid he is going to deploy Obama’s admittedly effective tactics, albeit in pursuit of a different sort of agenda.
That should give even those who might like that agenda pause. After eight years of Obama, our nation needs to heal. Trump, I’m afraid, doesn’t look like much of a healer.
My great hope for the Trump years is that he means what he says when he talks about dropping the hammer on the federal government. I hope rumors about mass firings of bureaucrats are true. I hope Trump understands that the best thing he could probably do for America right now is to urge the federal government to do less, dispelling the power centralized under Obama and Presidents before him, and returning our nation to its federalist roots.
We cannot govern a nation as large and diverse (in every way a country can be diverse) as America is through one-size-fits-all policy deployed from the national level. The more we try the more angst we inspire.
We must promote flexibility and diversity in policy making, and the best way for that to happen is for the feds to butt out and let the states govern.
Will Trump do this? I don’t know. Power is an intoxicating thing, and Trump has created for himself an expectation of action.
Trump could be a much better President than Barack Obama was. The bar isn’t set very high. Trump could also be one of America’s truly great Presidents.
He could also be a disaster.
All of these outcomes seem equally plausible.