A few days ago was the anniversary of President Obama’s inauguration. I don’t think anyone mentioned it, or thought it was worth a mention. He’s been president for three years and, maybe, this could be his last year. He has a tough re-election coming up. There are some that disagree with him (hates a strong word), and some who support him. But there are many, many voters that don’t care either way, that vote by watching the news for three days in October and then going to the polls that first Tuesday in November and voting for the guy they think looks like a President. There is no convincing people that don’t leave themselves to be convinced, and campaigning only goes so far to move voters who never read, never write, barely understand economics and have a hard time doing their children’s math homework.
I voted for Obama in 2008. Am I going to vote for him again? Most likely. Voting for a President, however, isn’t as important as voting for your local officials. I feel I had to say that. But, we do get a choice, a say, in who “leads” us as a country, and I think it is important to look back at Obama’s three year spree and see how he’s doing. It’s important to me, anyway.
One of the most important things a President can do is set the “mood” for the country. Bill Clinton had this, “Everything is awesome!” attitude. Baby Bush had this, “Everything is awesome when you go to war!” attitude. Obama has had this, “We’ll get through it” attitude, which get’s old. Why aren’t we through it already? But he has, thank god, done some powerful things to make this country more, what’s the word, more equal? Is that such a thing? The repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is the biggest, and most important. Our children will ask us what our problem with Gays was, back in the early years. DADT was as prejudiced as anything in this world, and the government should be taken to court over it and damages should be reimbursed. A social policy that says that one group of people can do one thing but another group can’t do that, that’s wrong. I’m glad it’s over. Yes, yes, he could do more. I seriously doubt he’ll ever say, “I support Gay marriage!” But, his administration isn’t defending the Defense of Marriage Act anymore. Which means, if it goes to the Supreme Court, it’s on it’s own. We may not have Gay marriage Country wide, but it may be illegal for one state not to recognize another state’s marriage.
Besides that, as far as social policies are concerned, I can’t think of anything the administration has done. That could be a good thing. We don’t need a government to tell us how interact. I think we can interact just fine. The only thing I can think of is how polarized politics have become, which were polarized before, and will always be polarized, so we might as well not even mention it.
My disappointment is the lack of guidance on Climate Change. The EPA has done some, but not enough in my opinion. It’s going to take fires, droughts, a basic return to the seven plagues before anything gets done on this issue, and by then it’s going to be way, way too late.
Do I think the President’s economic policies have been good policies? No. And yes. There are two main schools of thought about our economic system. One is to leave it alone and, “Let it work.” The other is to tweak and adjust the system when there are obvious places that it is broken. I could write for a long time about what I think, but there are plenty of places you can read up on this. The Obama administration believes that tweaking works, and that tweaking now will help in the short term and the long term (Keynesian). His opponents don’t, and think that the major problem with free markets is that the markets aren’t free enough (The Chicago School of thought). I think that capitalism is a broken system. No matter what you do to it, bail outs, stimulus spending, cutting regulations, all that crap, it still will leave a small portion of the population with more power than the majority of the population. It’s good that Obama has tried to do something about it, but he’s basically vacuuming the carpet of a burning house, and no one thinks the fire is a real problem.
My biggest compliant is how Obama handled Osama Bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki. How did he handle these two terrorist? He sent a Seal team and killed Bin Laden and he shot a missile at Anwar al-Awlaki. Ok, ok. Obama didn’t do it himself. But he approved it. He sanctioned it. And, probably, he’s ok with it. I’m not. Osama Bin Laden should have been captured and stood trial for crimes against humanity. Anwar al-Awlaki should have been captured and stood trial for treason. Do we have a justice system or don’t we? If we do, we need to use it, not kill people when we don’t feel like putting in the extra work. And these are the two people we know about. You can say that, in comparison, Obama isn’t as bad as George W. Bush, or you can say we live in an age of terrorism and force must be met with force. You can say, what if Osama Bin Laden was planning something, or what if Anwar al-Awlaki was planning something. You can say that their trials would have led to violence, or that they are better off dead. All those are very poor excuses. We don’t have a justice system when it’s convenient. Either we believe that every human being has rights to a fair trial or we don’t. From these two examples, I honest don’t know if the Obama Administration believes that.
Being President of the United States isn’t an easy job, and even wanting the job makes me look at you funny. President Obama has had a tough go at it. We’ll see if the America people believe he deserves to stay President in November. His opposition is made up of men with ideals and aspirations I don’t agree with. Being President also forces you to seek common ground with those very ideals. Still, no one’s perfect. And, as the most important person on the planet, Obama’s flaws tend to glare far more brightly.