There is the simple unarguable fact that a US president’s legacy is determined by whether The United States of American, the country he or she was chosen to lead, is better or worse off after he or she leaves office.
When George W. Bush left office it was simple, he was awful for the citizens of this country. His presidency eroded American civil liberties to an unprecedented degree and democrats were fuming, they came out in droves and voted for change. From torturing suspected terrorists in clear violation of the Geneva Convention to laying the groundwork for the NSA’s unprecedented domestic spying program, Bush’s post-9/11 legislative initiatives ultimately threatened American freedom more than Osama bin Laden’s schemes ever managed to do.
The worst part of this is all of America's surveillance hasn’t made the world any safer from terrorism, sacrificing our privacy for what’s proving to be nothing more an endless war on America’s own people, hasn’t been successful, and can never be successful.
It was with this in mind that Obama’s 2008 campaign pounded the George W. Bush presidency for its awful record on government secrecy, tax breaks for the rich, the Patriot Act, drones, Guantanamo and much more. Obama was 100% right to do so, and the American people who were fed up with politicians abusing their rights, supported, and demanded change! Unfortunately for the American people President Obama has continued many of the most controversial Bush administration programs, and although the political party leading our country has changed, the policies destroying it have not.
Under the Obama presidency the US has continued:
Bush’s tax cuts (Extended in 2010)
The war in Afghanistan (On going)
The Patriot Act (Extended in 2011)
The Use of Drones
Even though ending or limiting each of these items were campaign promises of candidate Obama, not a single one of these changed when Obama actually took office. These original Bush administration policies, (and in fact there’s hundreds more) all top the list that many Democrats had ferociously opposed during Bush’s presidency. The sad, and simple truth is nearly all of Bush’s policies continued under Obama, and no one seems upset about it. It seems that even though the policies are all Bush's, they are now ok, because a democrat is in office. The sad fact is, I voted for Obama because I wanted change, and he promised it. In the end I've realized change will never happen in a two party system because the corporations can so easily buy off the candidates of each party.
Sadly my vote is party responsible for this, as Obama leaves office his presidency has extended the erosion of American civil liberties well beyond what Bush was able to do. Now I realize that in order to truly get "hope and change" we must elect candidates who aren't beholden to their corporate overlords.