In an interview with Politico published Friday, Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota discussed the rarely-acknowledged similarities between Barack Obama and Donald Trump’s policies.
Reflecting on her activist past, Omar observed for Politico that Donald Trump’s murderous drone strikes and hard-line immigration policies are not a departure from former President Barack Obama’s agenda, but rather a continuation of it.
When she ran for office in 2016, Omar recounted, she was motivated not only by Donald Trump’s ascendance to office and the state of American politics in general but also by the Democratic Party’s perpetuation of the status quo. Instead of committing itself to progressive values, according to Omar, the Democratic Party embraced the status quo.
Former President Barack Obama’s promises of “hope and change,” according to the Minnesota representative, were nothing but a “mirage.” Omar pointed out that, just like Donald Trump, Obama caged migrant children and “droned countries around the world.”
Omar said that, while Donald Trump’s policies are “bad,” his predecessors — Barack Obama included — enacted virtually the same policies, except they were “more polished” politicians than the current president.
“We can’t be only upset with Trump…His policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was,” she said.
In order to overcome this, according to Omar, Americans need to look at the actual policies “behind the pretty face and the smile” of Barack Obama and other American presidents that came before Trump.
“And that’s not what we should be looking for anymore. We don’t want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile,” she said.
Indeed, although rarely acknowledged, the similarities between Barack Obama and Donald Trump’s policies are immense. Known as the “Drone President,” Barack Obama launched 540 drone strikes during his presidency, according to the Council on Foreign Relations, killing an estimated 3,797 individuals.
— Seth Oldmixon (@setholdmixon) March 8, 2019
As the famous foreign policy think thank noted, Obama not only “vastly expanded” the infamous drone program, but also “normalized” the use of such weapons, murdering hundreds of civilians in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia.
As The Daily Beast reported, President Donald Trump ramped up Obama’s drone wars, launching 238 drone strikes in his first two years in office.
This kinda sums up what Ilhan Omar was saying about Obama.https://t.co/Sj5NSRJfnH
— Dave Anthony (@daveanthony) March 8, 2019
Widely-condemned for putting migrant children in cages and separating them from their families, Donald Trump is considered to be an immigration hard-liner. However, his tough immigration policies are merely a continuation of Obama’s, as Business Insider pointed out, and the Obama administration’s caging of children is well-documented.