Wall Street Journal on March 3, 2016, published a commentary by former Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal on how Obama has created a strong backlash amon American voters. Excerpts below:
President Obama…has succeeded handsomely…in living up to his vow to be a transformative president, like Ronald Reagan, and not an incremental one in the Bill Clinton mold. Mr. Obama has accomplished many changes—they just aren’t the ones we were waiting for.
Mr. Obama has alienated allies like Israel while encouraging adversaries like Iran and Cuba. He has fostered Americans’ record-breaking dependence on government programs and record-low participation in the workforce. He has expanded the power, size and expense of the federal government in unprecedented ways, all at the expense of Americans’ freedom, standard of living and economic well-being.
But the president truly doesn’t get enough credit for creating one of the most polarizing forces in American politics today. No, not Hillary—that is more Bill’s doing. Let’s be honest: There would be no Donald Trump, dominating the political scene today if it were not for President Obama.
I believe that voters tend to act in open-seat presidential elections to correct for the perceived deficiencies of the incumbent. In 1980, after four years of President Carter’s telling us to turn up the thermostat and wear a cardigan, while the Soviets invaded Afghanistan and the Iranians invaded the U.S. Embassy, the fed-up American people elected a cowboy to the White House who made it clear that the evil empire’s days were numbered.
After eight years of President Reagan’s supply-side economics and broadsides against welfare queens, we got a kinder, gentler President H.W. Bush. After four years of international diplomacy without the “vision thing,” we got a loquacious Arkansas governor promising to invent a third way forward focused on the economy at home. After eight years of Clintonian empathy and skirt-chasing, we got a plain-spoken PresidentGeorge W. Bush…
[Then] we got the professorial President Barack Obama, who seemed to many to promise competence. After seven years of the cool, weak and endlessly nuanced “no drama Obama,” voters are looking for a strong leader who speaks in short, declarative sentences. Middle-class incomes are stagnant, and radical Islam is on the march across the Middle East. No wonder voters are responding to someone who promises to make America great again.
Mr. Obama likes to bemoan the increasing partisan divides across the country, as if he were merely a passive observer at best and a victim at worst.
Imagine if Mr. Obama had actually worked with Republicans in an open process to bring down health-care costs—instead of pushing through, on a partisan vote, the largest expansion of government-welfare programs in a generation. Or if he had listened to the message that voters sent in the first midterm election by putting Republicans in charge of Congress—instead of petulantly relying on executive orders, and using an eraser and whiteout on the Constitution, to shove the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies deeper into Americans’ lives.
Over the past seven years America could have been transformed in an inspiring way if its education system had been opened up, if its energy policy had been liberated, if the entire approach to governing had been overhauled. President Obama chose the opposite approach,…
Without President Obama, there is no Donald Trump. Mr. Trump often diagnoses the ills Mr. Obama has caused, but his prescriptions are just as often wrong. America deserves better.
Mr. Jindal is the former governor of Louisiana.