Written by Fiachra R. MacFadden
There is a man who will soon colloquially be known as the ‘Deporter in Chief.’ This man will have the ability to deport people by the millions. This man can go into a handful of countries and kill hundreds of men, women, and children. This man may even have the audacity to joke about the ways in which he kills people at White House dinners.
In fact, there is a man who has already done all these things. This man is the 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Obama. According to the Department of Homeland Security, Obama has deported more than 2.5 million people since he took office in 2009, more than any president in U.S. history. Obama also commits frequent drone strikes in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya. The Obama administration has been tactical in the way they cover up the murders of hundreds of innocent civilians.
In all their government documents and press releases, according to the New York Times, the word ‘militant’ has been redefined to mean all “military-age males in a strike zone.” In other words, if you are a man between the age of 18 and 49 and are in the wrong place at the wrong time, you are deserving of a death penalty without trial. Earlier this year, the U.S. government released figures stating that between 64 and 116 civilians have been killed by drone strikes since Obama took office. However, according to the New York Times, “every independent investigation of the strikes has found far more civilian casualties.” The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, for example, estimates between 380 and 801 civilians killed. These numbers are still rising.
There is a reason the U.S. is not a member of the International Criminal Court. It can murder people in some countries that it is not at war with, lie about the amount of people killed, and face absolutely no consequences. At one White House Correspondence dinner, Obama said, “the Jonas Brothers are here … Sasha and Malia are huge fans. But, boys, don’t get any ideas. I have two words for you: predator drones. You will never see it coming. You think I’m joking?” The Washington Post has called this one of Obama’s “top 10 most hilarious lines.”
Drones are no laughing matter to thousands of people in the Middle East. Zubair ur-Rehman, a 13-year-old Pakistani boy who lost his (innocent) grandmother to a drone strike, said that he now prefers “cloudy days when the drones don’t fly. When the sky brightens and becomes blue, the drones return and so does the fear. Children don’t play so often now, and have stopped going to school. Education isn’t possible as long as the drones circle overhead.”
As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton was also complicit in these acts and questionable viewpoints. She once dehumanized young African Americans accused of violent crimes as “super-predators,” with “no conscience, no empathy.” Her husband Bill Clinton played a large role in accelerating mass incarceration with The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which scrapped inmate educational programs, and pressured states to increase their prison sentences. It was authored by then-Senator Joe Biden, and was supported by both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics between 1992 and 2000, while Bill Clinton was in office, the number of prisoners in the U.S. grew by nearly 60 percent. The US-Mexico wall construction begun during Bill Clinton’s administration too, and in 2006 Hillary Clinton voted in favor of the Secure Fence Act which allowed the Department of Homeland Security to build 700 more miles of fencing. It is troubling that so many people have talked about how ridiculous Donald Trump’s wall proposal is when most of it has already been built.
In recent leaks, Hillary Clinton has spoken of rigging the Palestinian elections and stated that she has both “a public and a private position” on issues. This is not at all surprising coming from a politician like Clinton. With Trump on the other hand, it is very clear what he stands for. Everything that has been leaked of Trump just confirms what we already know of the man. No one should have been surprised when they saw the Access Hollywood tapes. We expected these comments from Trump.
Is the U.S. ‘the greatest country on the face of the planet?’ The U.S. has the highest prison population in the world, has the highest number of obese people, ties first with Spain in terms of cocaine use, and owns the most guns in the world. There are plenty of crises happening on American soil that receive little attention. The humanitarian crisis that has been unfolding for years on the US-Mexican border is rarely discussed. The Dakota Access Pipeline has received very little attention. Throughout the course of the NODAPL protests, Obama has said and done virtually nothing. And let’s not forget that Flint’s water is still contaminated—it has been a little over two years now.
This is not to say that Trump is equivalent to Obama or to the Clintons. There is no obfuscation, however, in terms of what Trump stands for. With other politicians, it can be hard to tell. The façade of a benevolent smiling Democrat that everyone loves will be no more. The world and this country will finally take a close look at this president and scrutinize each and every action. The hope is that this country will no longer ignore the horrors that previous administrations have committed.
This country is riddled with problems that few are paying attention to. Perhaps during and after Trump’s presidency, the U.S. can finally admit to itself that it is not, by any means, the greatest country on the face of this planet. Americans will finally recognize their broken and inhumane system of government, and will then hopefully restructure their system to ensure their brutal heritage ceases to exist; a brighter future will follow.