Your Trump-Obama comparisons are a waste of time

Likening the policies of the Trump administration to those of the former president only detracts from the issues at hand.

Chance Wellnitz

This past weekend, the Department of Homeland Security temporarily blocked enforcement of President Trump’s immigration ban. The ban sparked protests worldwide, despite the president’s insistence that it was “similar” to immigration restrictions implemented by the Obama administration in 2011.

Though numerous sources — Politifact, The Washington Post and FactCheck.org, to name a few — deemed this a false equivalency, many right-leaning pundits continue to cite the outrage as an instance of liberal hypocrisy. And on the left, people are asking themselves if conservatives have a point.

So, are Democrats more critical of Trump because they dislike him? Probably, but it doesn’t really matter.

Don’t get me wrong. Self-reflection and the acknowledgment of one’s faults is never a bad thing, and there’s certainly some soul-searching that Democrats and many media outlets need to do following this past election. However, these Trump-Obama comparisons only serve to distract from the issues at hand.

For example, the most common response I’ve seen to the immigration ban protests is people asking, “Where was this outrage for the Obama administration’s drone-strike program?” That’s a fair point, especially when you consider the refugees displaced because of U.S. involvement in the area. However, this question is rarely asked to broaden the current conversation or start new and worthwhile conversations on the topic. Instead, it’s meant to shut people up, benefiting nobody.

By asking these questions, are we truly exposing hypocrisy? And even if we are, how are we benefiting? How are we moving forward?

Time will inevitably put the Obama presidency in proper perspective, and there are decisions made by that administration that we, as a country, will need to answer for during the current Trump presidency and presidencies to come.

But Barack Obama is no longer the president of this country — Donald Trump is. Barack Obama is no longer signing executive orders — Donald Trump is. While it’s important to acknowledge the road that got us here, there’s someone new behind-the-wheel and an uncertain future ahead. So, who should be our primary concern? The answer is obvious.

The fact that many Obama supporters are now more politically active in the face of a Trump presidency isn’t a bad development, nor is it surprising. Donald Trump is a president unlike any we’ve had before, and we’re learning and adapting. News outlets are stepping up their coverage and placing every one of Trump’s moves under a microscope.

Perhaps we were a little too enamored with Barack Obama’s dancing on “Ellen” to do the same for him, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t for Donald Trump. And if that makes us hypocrites, then so be it.