Successes & Failures of 2016 U.S. Elections — Part 3

Failure of Policies Influenced The 2016 Election Outcome

by Sunil J. Wimalawansa

It’s the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us the freedom of the press.

It’s the Soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us the freedom of speech.

It’s the Soldier, not the politicians that ensures
Our right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

It’s the Soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag.  ~Author Unknown~

Read previous parts of this series: Part One  & Part Two 

( December 27, 2016, Washington DC, Sri Lanka Guardian) During the past 8-years, Obama administration made some useful contributions in domestic arena, such as Wall Street reform, saving/turning around the U.S. auto industry, and the virtuous “intentions” of the Obama healthcare plan, and others, as well as the global climate change agreement in Paris.

Others however, most Republicans disagree with many of these as Obama accomplishments.  Unfortunately, the recession that Mr. Obama administration inherited, did not facilitate the economic progress; it was continued until recently.  Nevertheless, key policy failures of Obama administration piled up, especially during his second term.  Let’s look at some of the key policy failures during the past 8-years.


A). Obamacare, unemployment and national debt:

Obama administration policy fiascos includes the problematic Obama healthcare law.  It was not thought through properly; so, as its mode of executive implementation, segregated within the state boundaries, escalating cost and the associated job losses.  This strain was added to the stagnant economy and high unemployment rate, doubling the national debt, and failures of foreign policies.

In addition to the flawed statistical modal used for reporting unemployment rates that account for only about 45% of those who are truly unemployed deceived the national and the international community with inaccurate U.S. unemployment statistics.  In fact, those who drop out of the labor force has been continues to increase over the past decade.  We hope the news administration would not misinform the public with fake statistics.  These alone accounted for approximately, two-thirds of failures of the current administration.

Other examples of failed policies include, foreign affairs, near zero interest rates (perhaps stagflation) and associated stagnant growth, record low labor participation rates, low home ownerships, close to $20 trillion of budget deficit; doubling of the national debt during the Obama’s tenure.  The later amounts to adding more than two-billion dollars of deficit each day, to the national debt.

B). Foreign policy failures:

United States missed several opportunities in the international arena, where it could have demonstrated the unique U.S. leadership in a non-partisan manner.  In addition to the lack of progress of (failed) Palestinian¾Israeli negotiations; the policy failures in the Middle-East have led to turmoil, ruining the peace, economic base, destruction, hindrance of development and prosperity in the entire region.  Failure of US policies and indecisions have escalated sector-based fighting and amplified the refugee crisis in the region.  In addition, the failure to act and keeping the promises, and the lack of commitment to international situations and peace, such as in Ukraine, Palestine and in Syria, have pave the path to Russian, global domination.

In another scenario, the president announced warnings and redlines against foreign governments and unscrupulous terrorist groups who were using chemical weapons against innocent civilians, but failed to take actions when these adversaries crossed these redlines (failed resets).  These inactions and inability to stick to mandates not only weaken the bearings but also affected the credibility of the U.S. government.

United Stated should never have taken or declare such half-hearted claims and declarations, unless it is ready to take actions.  To make such strategic threats (to avoid war), one need to have courage, overwhelming military strength, and the leadership.  The lack of well-thought decisive actions taken by the United States, with little common-sense and balanced leaderships over the past two decades have dramatically worsen both national and international situations and the international credibility of U.S.

More recently, secret Iran nuclear deal (quid for pro) was made irrespective of the ‘cost and consequences’ to the Unites States and its allies.  This was pushed through quietly, but swiftly and firmly.  Apparently with the goals of demonstrating great ‘achievements’ and reaching a difficult milestone.  However, the Iranian government is apparently not abiding the agreement already.  It seems, that this is an expensive road build to nowhere.

C). Immigration havoc: 

What about the calamities of smuggling of people, drugs, and weapons to the United States, particularly though U.S. southern border?  Most people agree that, major lapses of implementing border control and immigration policies as important issues.  Failure of taking decisive actions to control multiple immigration related problems continue to harm the country.  Moreover, the new administration should consider revoking the “falsely and/or mistakenly” granted citizenships to thousands of illegal aliens over the past couple of years.  Not taking such actions is grossly unfair for the law-abiding citizens.

Travelling to USA to deliver babies to get US citizenship¾“birth tourism” is an expanding industry.  Apparently, mostly Chinese and Mexicans pregnant mothers (failed to declare that they are pregnant) are exploiting this loophole in the U.S. law.  United States is perhaps the only country, where pregnant mothers from other nations make ‘special pilgrimages’ to deliver, to obtain United States citizenships for their babies.

This calculated and deliberate violation is not only to exploit the high-quality U.S. healthcare virtually at no cost, but more importantly to obtain US citizenship (birthright citizenship) for the baby!  The new U.S. administration needs to enact a clear legislation to stop this gross abuse of good will of the United States and the associated injustice to those who are waiting years to obtain their legal citizenships.

D). Over-use of executive powers and deviation from policies: 

Obama-driven policies left the Democrats with ideological and political disarray.  Despite the clear mandate, Mr. Obama had, when he first came to power, he entered a grid-lock with the Congress; thus, unable to move forward with meaningful legislations.  Thus, he opted to became one-person show by resorting to the use of excessive executive power in handling domestic and foreign affairs, especially during his second term in office.

On multiple issues, Obama policies and executive orders went too far to the left, which alienated the majority in the country, including Democrats.  Some of these include but not limited to are, distuption of social issues and beliefs, redistribution of wealth, re-opening divisions within the society (e.g., clashes between the Police and African American), allow bypassing citizenship lines in favor of illegal aliens, amnesty, propagation and funding of sanctuary cities violating federal statues and enhancing violence and crimes, promote large government, over-regulations and Washington control that prevented economic and job growth, unlimited spending, and escalating debt.

Many of these executive orders that President Obama executed but failed to become laws of the country are likely to be reverse by the new president.  As per the constitution, many of these mandates can be quickly revoke without the need for going through a cumbersome rout of Congressional approvals.

E). Increase gaps between sectors and enhancing public anger:

Many of the above-mentioned acts increased the gap between various “sectors” in the society and led to resentments and enhanced divisions within the country.  However, these did not go well with the ordinary American public, especially when these were not directed for betterment of the people, economy, or job growth, but directed to gain popularity for self, the party, and minority groups, while alienating others.

F). Erosion of the public trust and the credibility;

Cumulation of these miscalculations and failures have eroded the public trust, credibility of the president and the Democratic Party policies.  Many of these were also exposed by WikiLeaks during 2016.  In general, the overall situation has become worse during the past two-decades, due to mishandling of policies and false promises given to the public by the successive U.S. Politicians / governments.  These have led to public frustration, anger, and helplessness.

Collectively, the failure of appropriate actions by the Obama administration, and outdated Democratic Party policies, corruptions, derogatory comments made by Secretary Clinton during the election campaign, and issues highlighted by the WikiLeaks, led to the downfall of the Secretary Clinton and the Democratic Party, and success of Mr. Trump and the Republican Party.  The next article will analyze the 2016, political revolution.

Professor Sunil J. Wimalawansa MD, PhD, MBA, DSc, is a Physician-Scientist, Social Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Educator with strategic long-term vision.  Author can be reached via


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