It seems that just his name brings out so many emotions in so many people.
By no means am I a political expert.
By no means am I always right. (although I'd really like to think so)
But...I am so tired of reading gazillions of comments trashing the President. It's out of control. Don't get me wrong. Some of them are funny, and even I (liberal Dawn) laugh.
For example...the FB group I see some of my friends have joined - "DEAR LORD, THIS YEAR YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTOR, PATRICK SWAYZE. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTRESS, FARRAH FAWCETT. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE SINGER, MICHAEL JACKSON. I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW, MY FAVORITE PRESIDENT IS BARACK OBAMA. AMEN" - Yes, that group = Funny. Do I agree with it? No. But, funny? Yes. Kind of like the Justin Bieber group..."give us back Bob Marley and we'll send you Justin Bieber"...just as funny. I think the things people come up with are great. Good laughs. Eases the soul.
But...sometimes enough is enough.
All I have heard lately is how Barack Obama has not done anything. To be honest with you (and I'm a little embarrassed about this) I heard it so much, and I really wasn't doing a good job keeping up with the news, that I started to believe it. So, I did my homework. I watched Fox News (bad decision). I've been reading more news. I've been researching just what is going on in the world. And, in America. And, in our very own government.
Again - please understand...I am definitely NO expert. Take what I write with a grain of salt.
So, it's been said that Barack Obama is the worst president ever. It's been said that he is a socialist. Well...I did my research and I disagree.
So...what is socialism? Merriam-Webster defines socialism as:
1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods,
2: a) a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b) a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state, or
3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done.
Let's talk about some "socialist" examples, or government run systems - Medicare, Social Security, the bank bailout in October 2008. Did you see that I dated the bank bailout? October 2008. PRIOR to Barack Obama taking over as President. PRIOR to him even being elected.
Socialism means that government controls all. There is no private ownership. So...in essence, if the government thinks your company is profitable - they could make the decision to take it away and put it in public hands. However, the takeover of a FAILING company, that if it continues to fail would destroy the economy, is NOT socialism. Take AIG, for example. Mistake? Maybe. But...had the bailout not occurred, what would have happened? On the other hand - it's not like AIG was hugely profitable. They were in a downward spiral. If they had been profitable and the government took it away and put it into public hands....that would have been socialism.
Socialism is trying to make everyone equal. Taking what you own and making everyone on the same level. That is not what is going on here. Everyone is always comparing Socialism with Capitalism with Communism. Taxing those above $250,000 a little more is not socialistic or communism. I think this article said it best, "Lenin and Stalin did not want to tax the rich a little more; they wanted to confiscate all their property and either kill them or send them to concentration camps (and to eliminate all political opposition and independent opinion)."
Now, let's look at Obama's accomplishments. Is he the worst president ever? Again, I disagree. Did he promise things he has not yet provided to us? Absolutely. Unfortunately, that's politics. While I don't agree with lying to America, sometimes...things are said or promised, but when it's time to bite the bullet, it's just not possible. When any politician makes a promise, they might even really think they can follow through - but, in reality priorities change. Crisis happens. Views change. Did we anticipate the BP catastrophe that has taken up so much time and money? No, that would have been impossible.
Obama's critics seem to focus on what he has NOT done...and rarely do they mention what he has done. So, let's take a look at some of his accomplishments over the last 18 months:
1. Appointed 2 Supreme Court Justices. Luckily, he was able to replace the two vacating Democrats with two Democrats. If McCain had been in office, they would have been replaced with Republicans. I'm not saying anything bad about Republicans - but, we do want a balanced Supreme Court.
2. Passing Universal Healthcare. Yes, I do believe this to be important. Some positives: a) extends coverage to 32 million more, b) companies cannot deny you for pre-existing illnesses, c) focus shift towards preventative care, d) forces all people (or will force at some point) to have insurance and pay their share to help keep cost down (compare this to auto insurance - you should have it if you drive a car...so if you want to use a doctor or a hospital, you should have insurance), e) tax credits for small businesses so that they can afford healthcare, f) sets a system in place of doctors and medical experts to identify and eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse.
3. Financial industry reform - provides a system to allow the government to break apart large financial institutions that threaten the economy (get it...threaten the economy).
4. Preventing a 2nd Depression - you cannot argue that we were headed straight for a Depression. And...if you're thinking "we're not out of the woods, yet," you are absolutely right. But...he was able to prevent the 3 largest car companies from going under, passed the Stimulus Bill, saved jobs that would have been lost otherwise, and put money into areas of that are important for our success long-term, such as education, health care, and science.
5. Bringing the war in Iraq to an end - Although it's not done yet, Obama was able to follow through on the promise to bring this war to an end.
6. Passed legislation to curb greenhouse gases and improve the environment - this will help to limit greenhouse gas emissions and curb global warming, increased fuel efficiency standards for autos and trucks, and implemented more aggressive efficiency standards for common household appliances.
7. Repairing our image abroad - this is a big debate. Obama's traveling is a big topic of his critics. But, to successfully fight challenges such as global warming, nuclear expansion, and terrorist recruiting, we must work together with other influential countries.
8. Lifted restrictions on stem cell research - by allowing stem cell research and providing support and funding - we are one step closer to finding cures for diseases.
9. Implemented education reforms - schooling is now more accessible by increases in scholarships, early learning programs are funded, the Race to the Top program caused state and local districts to make changes to their education systems to then in return, receive incentives.
10. Tobacco regulation - the FDA now has the authority to regulate the marketing, manufacturing, and sale of tobacco.
11. Enforcement for equal pay for women
12. Increased infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, power plants) after years of neglect
13. The prison at Guantanamo Bay is being phased
14. The public can meet with federal housing insurers to refinance (the new plan can be completed in one day) a mortgage if they are having trouble paying
15. Better body armor is now being provided to our troops
16. Expanded vaccination programs
This is just a few of Obama's accomplishments. Click here and here to read more.
Barack Obama is just one man. Granted, yes he is the President. But...he cannot fix things overnight. He cannot make a decision and have it go into effect immediately. Our government system (luckily) does not allow just one person to make decisions. President Obama has a lot of people fighting against him. This fight or debate is important in any type of success. You want people to challenge your beliefs, views, and ideas. You want to ensure you hear every angle to make sure you make the right choice.
Remember...he is not a magician. He came into this Presidency at a time of recession. It takes time. It will not fix overnight. And, for goodness sakes he DOES NOT walk on water...
p.s. - as for his vacationing...I absolutely think that any president needs vacation time, too. It's not like he is not available on vacation. He is always "on-call." To be effective and successful - everyone needs a chance to relax and clear their head. To think otherwise is absurd.
p.s.s. - I really am NOT meaning to offend anyone, I am just putting in my two cents. Now, I'm done.