Debacle of the Obama Era

In 2009 I wrote about the election of Barack Obama, and although I liked his triumph because it was a blow against racism, I was sure it was not the best decision on the voters’ part: putting a beginner in the White House.

In the same way that it was a mistake to send to Miraflores [Palace] a loud and confrontational leader, a guy I would not even have liked to see as president of the town’s board of directors, in the same way it looked like a mistake to me to choose an inexperienced man to direct the destiny of the world’s main power.

Barack Obama reached the presidency not so much for his abilities as for the fact that people fell madly in love with an idea without giving any importance to his meager resume in leadership matters, the management of large organizations, political experience. Nothing like G.W. Bush or W. Clinton, who had been governors.

Not only Europe – the educated cradle of modern civilization – lay at his feet, but even the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, in an absurd act of nearly historical proportions, awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize without real credentials to deserve it.

They fell in love with the idea of a cultural revolution in the U.S., which got rid of the bullying and egocentrism of the Bush era.

In this faraway and inconsequential land, I liked Hillary Rodham Clinton because she had long experience in politics, like her husband. Standing behind Bill, she had seen, studied and advised on more than a few national issues.

Bush left a fertile field for a moderate and respectful candidate such as Barack Obama. It was the opportune moment for him, just as it was not so for the former first lady. Life made this poor woman compete against an invincible Obama, who — thanks to his natural elegance and superb media management, his tenor voice and imposing presence — was able to win over the entire world, and American voters above all.

The consequences were similar to what happened in El Salvador during the disastrous Funes era.

It was a historical necessity in the country for the leftist party to win. It was necessary to stop the arrogance and vanity – embodied in the irresponsible management of public matters – by an ARENA [National Republican Alliance] that saw itself as godlike and, as a party leader said, had forgotten about the neediest and had fallen into the habit of making unilateral decisions (just like George W. Bush’s government).

It was evident that people had not given a vote of confidence to the FMLN (Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front) because of its guerrilla past or for its constant outbursts, so the fresh image (for politics) of one who until then had been a good interviewer and presenter gave the FMLN the opportunity to reach power riding on the unlimited ability of Mauricio Funes. Yes, his ability to speak in front of the cameras, his mental agility, his diction, the order of his well-expounded ideas, his equanimity, all of them qualities that were underscored even more against the pitiful opponent who stuttered every three words. Both Funes and Obama, candidates inflated with helium by the media, generated great expectations.

For me, Funes was the great scam in the history of Salvadoran politics. We are still awaiting that democratic political revolution that never happened, and that even worsened some things due to the terrible deception of the truce, such as gang violence.

Speaking of the American president: Perhaps he was not a great scam, but a great disappointment. The Latinos who went to vote did so with disappointment in their hearts because of the immigration reform he promised but did not deliver.

Today, after the defeat in the midterm U.S. elections that has given control to the Republicans in both chambers, I would like to say two things: The president’s foreign policy has been contrary to his Nobel Prize because he has been as war-prone [as his predecessor] or even more so, since in a covert way he has helped bring about chaos in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt — and now, with more rancor, in Syria. This policy has been erratic. And what is even worse, [it has been] weak, which is in evidence when he confronts the bully Vladimir Putin. Never has the foreign policy of the empire seemed so aimless.

Second, because of the blow of these electoral results for his government, I can conclude without fear of erring that he has also disappointed his people with his domestic policy.

In Honduras, they are also suffering the kind of affected and naïve foreign policy that gave preponderance to Hugo Chavez’s madness: Zero geopolitics in his little head and that is a reason, in part, for my resentment against the president, too.

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