By: Natasha Donghia
Ah where to begin…Normally I just read the blog, and although I am often tempted to respond, I do not. Perhaps it’s the fact that so often, especially around these parts, when I express views that aren’t a direct quote from a Toby Keith song I tend to get treated like some sort of communist, godless, heathen who eats babies in my spare time. However, it seems there are few who are willing to step up to the plate and say “Yes, I voted for Obama and here’s why” so I guess it will have to be me.
First let me start by saying I am not a fad follower. I don’t jump on bandwagons, and I was never caught up in the fanfare. I never regarded Obama as the second coming, the great mixed-race hope or the only chance our country had at salvation. But I did recognize him for what I believe him to be: the best PR for our country.
Our country has lost the respect of the rest of the world. We are portrayed as fat, lazy, undereducated, over-privileged and ethnocentric. We have been represented by leaders who have shown such arrogance and self-righteousness that we are despised in countries where self-righteousness and arrogance are considered a hallmark of good politics.
Do we have great people in this country? Yes! Are we a great country? Of course! But that’s not the face of America we have shown the world in the recent past. And we desperately need to change that. If we were to hire the very best PR manager in the world, she would tell you the same thing: America must change its image.
So yes… we needed “Change”. What a fantastic word that is. What phenomenal marketing. The world ate it up. And at the end of the day…that’s good for all of us.
That’s not to say that I voted for Obama solely on those grounds. I would never have voted for him if I disagreed with his policy. But like all the men whose promises I’ve listened to in the past..it’s clear that the follow through will be somewhat lacking. I am greatly disappointed in his healthcare plan. It is so flawed that it would only serve to benefit private health insurance itself. I am disappointed in his wishy-washy stance on torture policy and the war. However-I am proud that he voted to lift the ban on federal funding of stem cell research. I am glad that he seems to be concerned about putting the focus back on sound science in government policy. I am also proud that he and I share the same views on what the constitution is really about and that writing discrimination into the constitution goes against it’s very spirit.
At the moment, though, I guess the big question is are we moving towards socialism in this country? I don’t think so. Let’s not forget that this administration inherited a huge problem. A broken economy that is not likely to magically repair itself. So perhaps the steps being taken at this point are unprecedented. Perhaps everyone doesn’t agree with the Government’s involvement, but it’s irresponsible to cry “socialism” instead of seeing it for what it is, a drastic measure in reaction to a drastic problem. All this talk about socialism just makes me think that some people do not have a basic understanding of it’s concepts. Where is the evidence that this administration WANTS industry to be nationalized by the government? Might I remind you that this was a process initialized by the former administration? Where have you gotten any real indication that the Obama administration is against the free market? Government oversight into a flawed system is far different than outlawing profit. Market forces will continue to direct our economy, but we can’t rebuild our economy on an unstable foundation.
The world is a constantly changing place, and what worked yesterday will not always work tomorrow. The structure of our economy was different 30, 40, and 50 years ago. The “spreading of wealth” was something that took care of itself. Now big business destroys small business. Instead of passing on a family business, mom and pop close the shop because Wal-Mart opened down the street. The very rich get much richer and the rest of the population remains stagnant. Perhaps there SHOULD be a safety net in place to protect capitalism from its worst qualities.