RYLAND STAPLES- STAFF WRITER
With the election just weeks away, the United States is preparing for one of the most pivotal moments in recent history. With the way President Donald Trump has handled relationships with other countries, systemic racism in the United States, his villainization of Mexican immigrants and his response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, people have been very thorough in calling for eligible voters to go and exercise their rights.
Even since Trump won the presidency in 2016, there has been consis- tent rhetoric on social media from users saying that they want four more years of the previous president, Barack Obama. Scroll Twitter long enough and you’ll see posts like, “ I want Obama back,” or people in President Obama’s mentions begging him to make a come- back of some sort.
In all honesty, President Obama didn’t really help push the country forward like most people think.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand President Obama getting elected was a momentous occasion that should and will be celebrated throughout history. But I feel like people try to overlook or sweep under the rug the bad things that President Obama did while he was in office. Two things that I want to focus on are the amount of deportations that took place under the Obama administration, as well as the drone strike campaign in the Middle East.
I understand that people really don’t associate large scale deportation when it comes to President Obama’s administration, but he certainly did his fair share while he was in office.
According to The Washington Post, “Though President Trump has made cracking down on immigration a centerpiece of his first term, his administration lags far behind President Barack Obama’s pace of deportations. Obama — who immigrant advocates at one point called the ‘deporter in chief’ — removed 409,849 people in 2012 alone. Trump, who has vowed to deport ‘millions’ of immigrants, has yet to surpass 260,000 deportations in a single year. And while Obama deported 1.18 million people during his first three years in office, Trump has deported fewer than 800,000.”
When people try to claim that Americans were better off under Obama’s administration, I always think about all of those people who were deported. Do you think they share your opinion? You also have to think about the innocent people who died during that drone strike campaign that President Obama spearheaded during his time in office. He mainly used drone strikes to target people suspected of terrorism in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen and other Middle Eastern countries.
According to The New York Times, “…the Obama administration revealed its estimate of the number of civilians killed since 2009 in coun- terterrorism airstrikes outside of Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. In a three-page report that offered little insight into the government’s secret drone campaign, officials said they had concluded that between 64 and 116 civilians died in 473 strikes.”
It’s important for United States citizens to realize that just because presidents are elected to office doesn’t mean they should be looked up to as role models. President Trump isn’t a role model in any kind of way. So why should someone who has deported more people than President Trump be looked at positively in the public eye? I feel like there are better people out there to look up to who have actually done more positive things for the community than President Obama.