President Obama’s campaign slogan “Change” brought along with it many promises. Promises that people expected would change the way the United States works in terms of economic policies, foreign policy and education. “Change” was so successful because of its ambiguity, and many individuals took it as a promise to put an end to all of George W. Bush’s policies.
I am not an Obama hater, but neither am I a diehard, loyal fan of his campaign and current policies. I think our public should look at Obama as a politician, not a rock star and definitely not an idol. What Obama successfully took advantage of throughout his campaign was the fact that he made promises that he knew he would not be able to fulfill because of reasons that are out of his control. Most importantly, he took advantage of the fact that people will hear what they want to hear. For example, when they heard, “I will withdraw our troops from Iraq,” they did not hear his silence on Afghanistan. He knew Iraq was on its way to becoming fully independent, but he understood that Afghanistan still needed our troops to undo the mess produced by his predecessor.
Another promise broken was Obama’s commitment to shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison. The challenges to this promise include a non-complacent Congress and foreign countries who do not want to take in the prisoners (Remember how much those countries begged us to shut down the prison, and notice how they shun responsibility as soon as some is given to them.). Obama knew he could order the prison to be shut down, but things would not really change because of factors outside of his control. So he made the promise, knowing that at least he would be viewed as “the guy who tried.” And props to him for trying, but the reality is that he is not trying hard enough. This issue has slipped into the background and many people seemed to have forgotten about a prison the U.S. possesses outside of its territory, a prison where the Constitution is violated on a continuous basis.
Also, our senior citizens have every right to be outraged by Obama. During his campaign, he promised to eliminate taxes for senior citizens making less than $50,000. Thus far, none of his budgets have included this tax cut. Could this be because they did not support his election as much as other demographics did?
There are many other promises you could discuss, and many issues Obama would say that he is trying to fulfill. However, there is one issue that does concern all of Americans and that’s the issue on health care. Besides the fact that he already disregarded the public option (which I know many of his most ardent supporters sought), he has not televised any of the health care negotiations. He had promised to televise the negotiations so that citizens could see who was arguing on behalf of the drug and insurance companies and who was arguing on behalf of citizens. He has failed on fulfilling that promise.
Some very wise individuals may argue that the president has simply taken on too many problems and that it is impossible for us to expect him to solve everything within a few months of taking office. That is completely understandable. What is not understandable, from him and from other politicians, is the fact that they can keep making promises they know they will not be able to fulfill. What is even more confusing is the fact that many Americans keep believing the promises of these politicians without ever questioning how they could actually go about fulfilling them. It is time for us Americans to wake up and realize that none of our nation’s leaders are idols – they’re politicians.
For more information about Obama’s fulfilled/notfufilled promises, be sure to visit here.