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a closer look

a closer look published on

i was thumbing through the pictures saved in my phone when i came across a screenshot of a tweet i’d received in the wee hours of the morning following election day:
"they" have "had to deal with it"
i’m relatively certain it was in response to this tweet of mine the night before:


but seeing as how the person that tweeted at me deleted their tweet within a few hours of having sent it, i don’t rightfully recall any more.

the thing is – i wanted to fire back a response right then; i had at my disposal a wealth of reasons why they were being short-sighted to say they had “put up with it,” and all the of the internet to search in order to fill in any gaps to strengthen my arguments. but i was in such a daze – how could this have happened? how could so many look upon this entirely flawed man and think, “yeah, he’s totally the best option here, the right choice!” – that i just took the screenshot and figured i’d get back to them some day. and the next thing i knew it was thanksgiving, then christmas – new year’s eve, and suddenly, inauguration day.

now here we are, four weeks into this bumbling fool’s presidency, and i wake up nearly every morning wondering if that other shoe has dropped yet; what that other shoe will be. but in that time, i’ve also found renewed strength, and hope. and i’ve marched, and i’ve made phone calls. i’ve sent emails and faxes. i, too, am resisting.

then this morning two paths crossed – one was my spotting the screenshot in my phone; the other was finding a list of reasons why that person that tweeted at me that night was so wrong to have said what they said. after all, that person is an upper-middle-class, straight, white male – living near this bubble of privilege, golfing on weekends and enjoying the life he has. so – no, sir. you are not sorry. and you have not had to “put up with” anything for the past eight years, aside from perhaps thinly veiling your hostility at having a black man as your president. one who served his country and his constituents with grace, and dignity. and so few fuck-ups… in fact one of the least-scandalous presidencies in generations. so here you go:

since trump took office, many of his supporters have been saying “we suffered for 8 years under obama; now it’s your turn”. in the immortal words of late night host seth myers, i think it’s time for “a closer look” at that statement…

so let me ask:

why have you suffered so?

• gays and lesbians can now marry and enjoy the benefits they had been deprived of. has this caused your suffering?
• when obama took office, the dow was 6,626. now it is 19,875. has this caused your suffering?
• we had 82 straight months of private sector job growth – the longest streak in the history of the united states. has this caused your suffering?
• especially considering where he the economy was when he took over, an amazing 11.3 million new jobs were created under president obama (far more than president bush). has this caused your suffering?
• obama has taken unemployment from 10% down to 4.7%. has this caused your suffering?
• homelessness among us veterans has dropped by half. has this caused your suffering?
• obama shut down the us secret overseas prisons. has this caused your suffering?
• president obama has created a policy for the families of fallen soldiers to have their travel paid for to be there when remains are flown home. has this caused your suffering?
• we landed a rover on mars. has this caused your suffering?
• he passed the matthew shepard hate crimes prevention act. has this caused your suffering?
• uninsured adults has decreased to below 10%: 90% of adults are insured – an increase of 20 million adults. has this caused your suffering?
• people are now covered for pre-existing conditions. has this caused your suffering?
• insurance premiums increased an average of $4,677 from 2002-2008, an increase of 58% under bush. the growth of these insurance premiums has gone up $4,145 – a slower rate of increase. has this caused your suffering?
• obama added billions of dollars to mental health care for our veterans. has this caused your suffering?
• consumer confidence has gone from 37.7 to 98.1 during obama’s tenure. has this caused your suffering?
• he passed the lilly ledbetter fair pay act. has this caused your suffering?
• his bi-annual nuclear summit convinced 16 countries to give up and destroy all their loose nuclear material so it could not be stolen. has this caused your suffering?
• he saved the us auto industry. american cars sold at the beginning of his term were 10.4m and upon his exit 17.5m. has this caused your suffering?
• the deficit as a percentage of the gdp has gone from 9.8% to 3.2%. has this caused your suffering?
• the deficit itself was cut by $800 billion dollars. has this caused your suffering?
• obama preserved the middle class tax cuts. has this caused your suffering?
• obama banned solitary confinement for juveniles in federal prisons. has this caused your suffering?
• he signed credit card reform so that rates could not be raised without you being notified. has this caused your suffering?
• he outlawed government contractors from discriminating against lgbt persons. has this caused your suffering?
• he doubled pell grants. has this caused your suffering?
• abortion is down. has this caused your suffering?
• violent crime is down. has this caused your suffering?
• he overturned the scientific ban on stem cell research. has this caused your suffering?
• he protected net neutrality. has this caused your suffering?
• obamacare has extended the life of the medicare insurance trust fund (will be solvent until 2030). has this caused your suffering?
• president obama repealed don’t ask don’t tell. has this caused your suffering?
• he banned torture. has this caused your suffering?
• he negotiated with syria to give up its chemical weapons and they were destroyed. has this caused your suffering?
• solar and wind power are at an all time high. has this caused your suffering?
• high school graduation rates hit 83% – an all time high. has this caused your suffering?
• corporate profits are up by 144%. has this caused your suffering?
• he normalized relations with cuba. has this caused your suffering?
• reliance on foreign oil is at a 40 year low. has this caused your suffering?
• us exports are up 28%. has this caused your suffering?
• he appointed the most diverse cabinet ever. has this caused your suffering?
• he reduced the number of troops in both iraq and afghanistan. has this caused your suffering?
• yes, he killed osama bin laden and retrieved all the documents in his possession for analysis. perhaps this caused your suffering?

from an objective standpoint it would appear that the last eight years have seen some great progress and we were saved from a financial collapse. things are not perfect. things can always be better. we are on much better footing now than we were in 2008.

i look forward to understanding what caused you to suffer so much under obama these last eight years.
in the words of seth meyers - it's time for a closer lookhas this caused your suffering?or has this caused your suffering?

so the next time someone tells you that they “suffered for 8 years under obama; now it’s your turn” – feel free to share these objective reasons why they likely didn’t “suffer” so very much, after all.

(h/t to the person who made the list – i don’t know you, but i’m grateful for the help)

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