Hateful Trump Goes After Obama’s Legacy with Vengeance
There is no doubt President Donald Trump hates his predecessor and former President, Barack Obama.
There is also no doubt that as a result of that hatred, Trump has decided he will do everything possible to wipe out the legacy of the former president.
From the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, to the environment, education and now the school lunch program, Trump has gone after Obama’s legacy with such ferocity that political observers are starting to believe this might be personal.
This week, the Trump administration announced that it is targeting two of former first lady, Michelle Obama’s favorite initiatives – school lunch, and the “Let Girls Learn” program aimed at closing gender disparity in education in developing world.
Former Georgia Governor and current Agriculture Secretary, Sonny Perdue also announced that he would do away with rules put in place to guard federally funded school lunch programs from discriminating against low income minority children.
These actions by the Trump administration come on the heels of earlier decisions to cut back on, or completely eliminate Obama’s policies on taxes and national monuments.
Jen Psaki, Obama’s former communications director, said it was “surprising and politically stupid … for this administration to be winding back or trying to dismantle initiatives that are as positive and impactful as Let Girls Learn.”
He added that the actions of the current administration shows they are more interested in dismantling Obama’s legacy than on what actually helps Americans.
“Perhaps the Trump Administration is more focused on the political objectives of dismantling the initiatives of his opponent, more so than doing what is in the interests of the public,” she added.
In response to media reports, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said there had been “no changes” to the “Let Girls Learn” program, arguing that the Trump administration “supports policies and programs to empower adolescent girls, including efforts to educate them through the completion of secondary school.”
But the mere fact that Trump is insisting on changing the title is indicative of his desire to eradicate any policies or programs put in place by the previous administration even when it appears to be benefiting the public.
Political observers believe Trump’s vindictiveness may be him trying to not only hold on to his base, but strengthen his relationship with them.
“Even if it has a vindictive edge, politically it works for him,” said Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University.
“It puts attention back on Obama and, for Republicans, on what they don’t like about Obama. Every time he strikes at an initiative — even a small one — it focuses Republicans on what they don’t like about Obama rather than any problems they might have with him,” he added.
“He needs to hold on to his electoral base,” Hank Sheinkopf, a political observer said. “And what better way to do that than attacking the person who is hated most [by Trump supporters]? Attacking Obama keeps people’s focus away from the first 100 days of non-accomplishment.”
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