Many Black people, in the age of Trump, are simply worried. This “many Black people” collective includes the writer of this article. I am not just worried. I am shaking in my boots. However, there is something that I realize. Barack Obama is not President anymore. He will never be President again. I realize in the age of Trump that it does not seem like we have a Constitution, but we do have a Constitution. That Constitution prohibits Obama from achieving the American presidency again. When Obama was President, he chided Arab and African leaders on trying to hold on to power indefinitely. Even thought Obama stated that if he could run again he believed that he could win, I am of the opinion that Obama would have been more like Washington although he could have been successful like Franklin Roosevelt. Nevertheless, that discussion is ethereal and mute.
The thing that brought this discussion to mind was hearing a Black female journalist on one of the twenty-four hour news channels. She had written an op-ed piece for her respective paper bemoaning the absence of Barack Obama’s voice as a counter weight to Trump. Her argue did not seem angry with the former President. Her argument seemed more of a lamentation. She stated that when life and issues became complex and troubled during the presidency of Obama, he was able to speak to the nation and explain what was going on in the world arena. According to the journalists, he was able to allay our fears. On a personal note, I gather that he was able to assuage her concerns. In short, she missed his guidance and soothing demeanor. In short, I miss those attributes also. Yet, I realize that the Obama train has left the station. We will have to know Obama in a different way. We will have to know him through his writings, his cameo appearances on television, and through movies made about him. We will have to line up for tickets whenever we are able to make one of his lectures somewhere near us. Despite this reality, I have come to realize what is happening to Obama in his post presidency. What is happening to Obama in his post presidency is the same thing that happened to Obama when he was President-elect.
When Obama was President-elect, the country was in turmoil. We were reeling from two wars and a busted economy. The President, at the time, seemed inept at best and incapable at worst of commanding the office of President for a redress of the nation’s grievances. After Obama was elected to the Office of President, but before he was sworn in, there was a chorus of voices beseeching Obama to do something or say something. As I have written in these pages before, Obama’s response was that we only have one President at a time.
Obama did speak when he was President. He campaigned diligently for Hillary Clinton. He told up that Trump was not fit to be President. Allow me to repeat this point. He warned us that Trump was not fit to be President. The President even told us that Russia was interfering with the 2016 election in such a way that could benefit the Republican Party candidate. Yes, Obama spoke to the issues. Much to his amazement, we did not listen. We did not take heed. I even recall one Black commentator for whom I have the upmost respect surprising me to no end when he said,” I don’t think Trump will be that bad.” The far left were stuck in their revolutionary fantasies. Sanders’s supporters were too busy sulking because Sanders was not the nominee. White women were acting in such an inexplicable fashion. A majority of Whites women voted for Trump. Even more Black men trailed away and voted for Trump. Now that the personification of American arrogance and folly is President, people are once again admonishing Obama to say something.
I respect Obama’s silence. After George W. Bush left office, he left the political scene. Unlike his Vice President, Dick Cheney, Bush allowed Obama to be President. Bush went silent. I believe Obama is following the lead of Bush in this matter. It would be beneath the dignity of his stature to get in shouting match with the current underling who is occupying the White House and pretending to be a President. My dear friends wake up. President Barack Obama has left the building.
Anthony Neal earned his Ph.D. in political science at Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University). Dr. Neal is an associate professor at State University College, Buffalo. The author of numerous book reviews and journal articles, he has had his work published in the Western Journal of Black Studies, the Journal of Black Studies, and Black Issues in Higher Education. In 2014 Dr. Neal received the university’s Faculty Appreciation Award, was named Instructor of the Year by the university’s United Student Government, and Professor of the Year by the Student Political Society in the Department of Political Science. In 2015, he published The American Political Narrative which is a succinct yet poignant narrative about the development of the American political system and what is needed to maintain it. In 2016, he will publish a book of poetry entitled “Love Agnostic | from 9/11 to Charleston”