In 2008, when Barack Obama was in the midst of a historic campaign to become the leader of the free world, he firmly positioned himself to be the man the American people could unite around.
Time and time again, Presidential candidate Obama vowed to reach across party lines in a way no other President had done. He was fresh, he was young, and he was articulate. He was a man who had yet to be corrupted by the ills of Washington, D.C. In fact, to the average voter listening to him speak at the time, it seemed as though he was utterly impervious to it.
In his inaugural address, President Obama spoke about responsibility, about transparency, and about unity. He said that we would “restore science to its rightful place and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality…” Yet what has ultimately occurred is the squandering of billions of dollars on foolish scientific endeavors and scandals like Solyndra and A123 Systems. In attempting to raise health care’s quality, Obama’s Affordable Care Act has succeeded only in increasing its costs.. The Act is also repugnant to the first amendment, indicating that the “rightful place” of science Obama spoke of in his address occupies a higher position on his totem pole than the free exercise of religion, a fundamental American right which has been protected since the ratification of our Constitution.
He declared that, “those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.” Yet today, we live in a time where billions are wasted without the slightest hesitation on the part of those who spend it. In just over three years, President Obama created an America where the national deficit grows annually, not by millions or billions, but by trillions.
He urged us to “recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with the sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.” Yet today we have left Israel, one of our most stalwart and longstanding allies, increasingly isolated and feeling unsure of whether they can count on us during their times of need.
He recounted that, “because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass…” Yet despite this talk of racial unity, Obama has personally injected himself into local incidents like that of the Cambridge Police Department debacle, and the killing of Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watchman. In doing so, he forced local problems into the national spotlight, and elevated racial tensions to levels we have not seen in decades.
President Obama may fancy himself a man who can unite this country, but everything he has done up to this point indicates just the opposite.
Any bill that is up for legitimate debate in our Congress almost exclusively passes along party lines. The accountability in the spending of public dollars he promised, has given way to 3 consecutive years without a passed budget, and an increase to the national deficit of more than $5 trillion. The unity he was to cultivate among our people, has degenerated by way of politically charged rhetoric into toxic cyclical bouts of race warfare, class warfare, and gender warfare. The continuous onslaught of such rhetoric has left our country increasingly more divided, all in the name of reelection, and the acquisition of the swing vote.
So where is the unity, the responsibility, and the transparency that we were promised? One can be certain that it is further away today, than it was in 2008.