Bush was driving the bus on a mountainous road. He was deep in thought over tearing down stable governments and creating terrorists and wastelands where they could flourish. Distracted, he drove the bus off a cliff where it hurtled two miles below into a deep ravine before bursting into flames. Bush managed to crawl out and claw his way up the side of the ravine. At the top, he stood up, handed the keys to President Obama and said, “your turn.”
President Obama had to go down into the ravine and first build a mechanic shop to rebuild the engine of the bus. He also had to build a body shop to repair the body of the bus. At first, he had a lot of help and was able to build the shops and rebuild the engine and repair the body. But before he could hoist the repaired bus up out of the ravine, a lot of his help left him, replaced by Republicans who stood at the top of the ravine and jeered and insulted and threw rocks as he struggled to hoist the bus to the top.
Once he hoisted the bus up the two-mile side of the ravine, President Obama got into the driver’s seat and began driving the bus back up the mountainous road. Because of some lingering mechanical problems, it took him four miles to get to full speed. But once the bus was back to full speed, it soared for the next two miles.
After two miles of clear sailing, President Obama stopped the bus, got out, handed the keys to Trump and said, “your turn.”
Trump sat down in the driver’s seat, drove for another mile, then stopped the bus, got out, climbed up on top of the bus, smote his breast and beat his chest and said, “Weeeee!! Look at me! Look at me! In one mile, I’ve driven the bus farther up the road than it’s ever been driven! Praise Franklin Graham!!”
And all the white evangelicals ran out into the street and waved palm branches and shouted, “Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna to Trump!! Great is Trump and greatly to be praised! All hail King Trump!!”
But the truth is, for the time Trump’s been in office, he has not outperformed President Obama’s overall record.
Cue up the racists.
[Whiny voice.] “But it’s so not fair to compare what Trump has done in one year to what it took President Obama 8 years to do.”
It is ABSOLUTELY fair to compare Trump’s first year to President Obama’s eight years.
BECAUSE…that is exactly what TRUMP is doing.
I didn’t lay the ground rules. I didn’t start out comparing Trump’s one year to President Obama’s 8 years.
When he says the stock market is the highest it’s ever been; when he says black unemployment is the lowest it’s ever been…he is comparing his first year to the COLLECTIVE of all previous years. And he is implicitly taking credit for all the accomplishments over the previous eight years; accomplishments that got us very close to the point where we now sit; accomplishments racists never credited to President Obama.
It is grossly unfair to try to compare the first year of President Obama to the first year of Trump or to try to divide President Obama’s 8-year record by 8 to get annual performance…
…because the STARTING POINT for each was monumentally different — President Obama was handed an economy that was in total ruins and headed downward; Trump was handed a fully-repaired and ALREADY-SOARING economy that was on its way up.
But this is exactly what racist whitefolk do. They ignore the STARTING POINT.
And not just on this issue.
Trump didn’t have to build a mechanic shop. He didn’t have to rebuild the engine. He didn’t have to build a body shop. He didn’t have to repair the body. He didn’t have to hoist the bus up the mountainside. He didn’t endure jealous whitefolk hurling rocks at him as he tried the fix the wreckage that THEY had left for him.
There is NO truly fair comparison because of the vastly different starting points. But TRUMP has chosen to make the comparison. And to give the comparison some semblance of fairness, you have to take into consideration President Obama’s full eight years of contributions that got us very close to the point where we now sit. To forget about the horrendous fiery crash; to forget about President Obama saving the auto industry and the banking system; to forget about President Obama getting the economy moving with his stimulus package and saving people’s homes by extending unemployment; to forget about the eight miles he brought us through, while allowing Trump to crow about the point where we now sit, is deceptive and deeply rooted in racism because it gives a white president credit for the point where we now sit, without acknowledging the monumental accomplishments of the black president who brought us through our darkest days and put us within striking distance of our current point.
On the stock market, Trump has performed only half as well during his first 11 months as President Obama did during his first 11 months:
Stock market when President Obama took office = 8,000
11 months later = 12,000
Stock market when Trump took office = 20,000
11 months later = 25,000
And on jobs...Trump has underperformed in his first 11 months, the gains President Obama turned in during his last 11 months:
President Obama created 2.093 million jobs in his last 11 months.
Trump only created 1.839 million jobs in his first 11 months. (At tonight’s State of the Union, Trump deceptively took credit for jobs created since the ELECTION, counting as his own, the jobs created by President Obama during President Obama’s last three months in office.)
And on the unemployment rate...the average unemployment rate for President Obama’s last 11 months in office was 4.9% compared to 4.3% for Trump’s first 11 months in office. President Obama did the heavy lifting to get us from the Great Recession to very near the point where we now sit.
And the now-fabled black unemployment rate…12.7% when President Obama took office; 7.8% when he left office — a 39% reduction. A year later, it’s 6.8% — only a 13% reduction for Trump. President Obama got us very near the point where we now sit.
To pretend Trump is responsible for the point where we now sit, when he has barely moved the needle beyond where President Obama brought us; and, to ignore the against-all-odds accomplishments of President Obama in getting us to this point; is deceptive and deeply rooted in racism.
From Craig Hardegree (FACEBOOK):