I did not vote for Barack Obama in his first presidential election. To my somewhat devious mind anyone that says that he wants to basically change America, a country that most of us love, without giving details of how and why, scares the living bleep out of me. Unfortunately there were many people that thought that a fine plan.
The Republicans put up, possibly, the worst candidate they could find. John McCain is a good man and a patriot. He should be honored and respected. But he was not a winnable presidential candidate. Sarah Palin is a great lady and a powerful and competent woman. She would a fine person to have as a friend. But the two, McCain/ Palin, is probably the worst ticket that the Republicans could assemble. With a press corps (for Barack that is pronounced core not corpse) that was dedicated to an Obama win, those two sacrificial lambs had no chance.
That, having been said, when the results came in and it was obvious that Obama won, many were kind of proud of their country. We had taken a bunch of lumps over slavery even though that was long in the past. The Jim Crow laws of the South’s past were very ugly. Also our country took a lot of abuse about racism from European countries that love to hate us and are so ethnocentric something like this would be impossible in their little part of the world. Most wished Mr. Obama well and prayed that he would be a good and fair President of our beloved nation.
Mr. Obama campaigned on being the post racial President. He announced that he was the President for all Americans. He claimed he would bring us all together, bring back jobs, and restore the economy. So, my friends, here we sit, four years later. And isn’t it a mess.
The two big issues were the economy and jobs. His campaign premise was that George Bush had destroyed the economy and that Obama had the knowledge and skill to turn it around. Once elected he forgot about the economy and focused on health care. For two straight years it was all about health care as the economy worsened.
When questioned as to why things were not improving, we were told that the economy was far worse than he had imagined. Now, Obama was a Senator and as President elect, he and his transitional staff were thoroughly briefed by the White House. Any questions they had were answered in full. How could he not have known.
The next two years were lost in a heightened campaign mode and constant infighting with the House of Representatives. The House, due to their short terms, are considered to be the body closest to the electorate. They are expected to be the primary body of checks and balances to prevent presidential excess. Obama and his minions in the press found that intolerable. So they excoriated the House Republicans because they did not just give the President everything he wished for. Ultimately very little was accomplished by those that were elected.
Those that were appointed, on the other hand, did a lot. All those government agencies produced regulation after regulation. They drained money out of the economy through fines and fees. They caused increased unemployment by shutting down coal mines and the electric generating plants that relied on that coal. They placed oil fields off limits.
Meanwhile, business people that wanted to expand their business and hire more employees sat on their cash and did nothing. They feared the regulators. They feared increased health care costs. They feared tax increases. So business stagnated and continues to stagnate today.
After four years, here we sit. Certainly no better off. Possibly worse off. Still worrying about jobs and the economy. The President has said that he will focus on gun control, climate change, immigration, and painting the Republicans as the enemy rather than the loyal opposition for his second term. Thinking about the last four years, I am not hopeful looking forward to the next four.