Letter to the Editor

Obama's legacy

Monday, January 9, 2017

I don't think history will be kind to President Obama for many reasons.

First, the national debt has skyrocketed, yet we have little to show for all the spending. Our infrastructure has great needs, our military has shrunk, veterans go untreated, the borders are not secure, our national parks struggle, etc.

Second, race relations seem the worst they've been since the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Many of us hoped the Obama presidency would bring whites and people of color closer together, but it hasn't.

Third, the president's signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, has been unpopular, expensive and misleading, and may be repealed and replaced.

Fourth, our leadership position in the world has eroded. We are still the wealthiest and strongest nation on earth, but we haven't used our influence effectively.

And fifth, our federal government has stagnated. The president seemed unwilling to work with Congress to get things done. I know politics gets in the way of progress, but effective leaders know how to get things done.

I think President Obama is basically a good man. He caused no big scandals. He appears to be a good husband and father. He's a gifted speaker. But he was not able to resolve the big issues he faced. And his lack of effective leadership allowed both foreign and domestic problems to escalate. Maybe President-Elect Trump will do better. Time will tell.

Gary L. Gaines, Cape Girardeau