I did not vote for Barack Obama, but I certainly understand why so many young voters did.
Let’s be honest—the country was a mess in 2008. We were in the midst of two wars and a terrible financial crisis, leading to one of the worst recessions experienced in recent memory. Things were rough. Fairly or not, public opinion had turned against President Bush. The Republican Party itself had moved way too far to the left, allowing itself to become the party of “big but hey they’re even bigger!” government as opposed to the party of small government.
While Obama didn’t say much of anything during the 2008 campaign (hope and change, bro!) he really didn’t need to. Despite nominating an exceptional motivator for VP in Sarah Palin, John McCain never stood much of a chance. The conservative base was dispassionate, and Obama’s base was in ecstasy over his candidacy. The results were not surprising.
I maintained, as we headed into 2009, that I would give the new President a chance. It really bothered me how nasty people were towards President Bush during his two terms. I didn’t agree with him on everything, but I felt strongly that he deserved the respect of the office and that some of the nasty rhetoric from the left was completely out of line. I wanted to give President Obama a chance. Not just because I’m a fair guy, but because I believe our country needed him to be a great President.
You see, Obama had the opportunity to do something special. He had the opportunity to govern like Ronald Reagan, to unite rather than divide, and lead our nation forward instead of into a rapid decline. He could’ve taken the incredible opportunity placed before him and gone down in the annals of American history as one of the greatest Presidents of all time
Instead, Obama spit in the face of history and clung to his rigid socialist ideology.
While Americans struggled and unemployment surged during a terrible recession, Obama prioritized “progressive” initiatives like a health care takeover, cap and trade, and wealth redistribution.
Instead of working with Republicans to get a bipartisan health care bill passed that focused on lowering costs, he worked behind closed doors with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to pass a monstrosity that essentially nationalized our health care system at the expense of the taxpayers without even attempting to seriously lower costs.
With unemployment still hovering around nine percent (and we all know it’s really higher than that) for most of 2011, the President refused to even consider one of the 25+ jobs bills passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.
And the rhetoric. The unbelievable rhetoric.
Instead of doing his job and being the leader of the free world, President Obama has shown his community organizing roots still define who he is. He has done everything he can to drive a wedge further in what divides us. He spearheaded the idea that Republicans are launching a “war on women.” He injected himself in the Trayvon Martin situation, implying racism and guilt before Zimmerman was even charged.
He misled the public on budgets, jobs bills, Medicare, you name it. Instead of accomplishing anything of note, Obama has been focused on being the campaigner-in-chief.
It’s no wonder his luster has worn off.
At the end of the day, I’m more disappointed than anything. He had the opportunity, as the first African-American President and one of the most eloquent speakers in recent memory, to truly have a positive impact on our nation. He could’ve been great. Instead, he played political games, stoked hatred, and brought this country to its knees.
President Obama had an opportunity, but that’s over now. He lost it. Now it’s up to us to make sure he’s a one term President.