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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 10/25/16

Obama's legacy: more chaos or more order?

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President Barack Obama runs down the East Colonnade
President Barack Obama runs down the East Colonnade
(Image by U.S. Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia)
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The legacy of O will soon come to a boil
Among pundit scribes who on it much toil,
Mulling the 'what ifs' and 'if only he'ds',
Citing new stats like the health-policied,
Or winning in Cuba and losing in Lib,
His killing bin Laden if only as fib.

But as they nitpick and nuance and sum,
I ask for a standard that ought to become
A simple measure by prez friend or foe,
Equally viable for Bush or Monroe,
And lets us judge all, the first with the late,
And thus plot the course of America's fate.

Scan urbi et orbi and add up the score:
Chaos or order -- which one has gained more?
Is the world more quiescent than eight years ago,
Or should we stuff mattresses with all our dough?
Have the globalized waters lifted all boats,
Or does the wise man grab whatever floats?

So which has made hay by the sun of Obama,
The forces of order or more those of trauma?
Abroad no question: you can barely find space
Where his "moderates" and drones have not erased
Peaceful societies with schools and paved roads,
Which till he dies will be history's goads.

At home he's exemplified American grace:
Cool, kind and funny and those speeches just ace.
He's calmed the waters when cops pulled quick triggers,
And pshawed the idea of election-day riggers.
He did what he could for those who need docs,
Those sad souls with hard lives still up on the blocks.

Yet there's Ed Snowden who put on display
O's five-star indifference, his lack of fair play
With the Constitution, the laws, the Bill of our Rights,
Which fast disappear with technology's bites.
He paid each year's budget with a new-borrowed trill,
Stiff-arming a future that waits for the kill.

Pols have turned plastic and Wash-town a club,
Hence the ferment and secession hubbub.
It's no surprise that Don Trump's a big hit,
Bernie near took it and the right's in a snit.
Good jobs at good wages have shrunk quite a lot,
As money pours into the One Percent pot.

You feel it all over that Chaos has growed,
While Order goes walking the Yellow Brick Road.
Not that I'd blame ol' Barack for it all:
He seems to have striven to hold off the fall,
But can't tame the soldiers or all the king's men,
Content not to put him together again.

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"A Legacy of Chains and Other Stories" is Philip Kraske's lastest book. It can be found at his website:

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