If Not Obama, Then Who Would Wear The Commander-In-Chief's Shoes?
President Barack Obama’s shoes are a pair no-one wants to fill.
Is it because we are a generation of self-concerned Americans intent on making a fast buck? Or is it that we have become complacent with where our country is heading?
Looking back on a time when the American Dream was actually attainable, kids generally grew up wanting to be astronauts, firemen, and president of the United States. Yes, they were naïve; however, today it is rare to find a child who says they want to be president.
The reasons can merely be speculated, but here are a few that come to mind. Automatically upon election the president is opposed and questioned by half the country, constantly receiving death threats, always in the public eye, criticized for every word, movement, and demeanor. In all honesty, why would anyone want to be president?
Obama was elected for his message of hope and healing, trying to rescue a nation in crisis. A crisis defined by large budget deficits, two wars, an economy in peril, a broken healthcare system, a growing immigration issue, a failing education system, and the list continues. This was a no win scenario for any candidate, Obama or McCain, and yet both sought the challenge.
What makes the challenge more daunting is that there is nothing but those who oppose and those who seek favors. In Washington, it is truer than anywhere else that nothing comes free. Even if Obama, or any president for that matter, sought office for pure humanitarian and patriotic motives, his or her ability to act toward that potential is thwarted by lobbyists and other politicians that prevent passage of policies that don’t serve their best interests. Thus when nothing is achieved we look to the executive and blame that person for their failed promises of change.
Looking at last week, for no other reason than to send a message, the House of Representatives wasted a day to repeal Obamacare.
Achieving nothing but a royal grandstand against the policy, these politicians could have been more productive in helping solve the 9 percent unemployment rate, or addressing how to fix our ailing education system. Washington has lost sight of their duties, and as a result America has suffered. Yet as Americans, we continue to blame the president for the nation’s failings.
Again who would want to be President?
People ponder the decline in the presidential candidate talent pool, still I ask, why would any sane person jump into a tank of bloodthirsty sharks? So, when you watch Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night imagine facing what he has to face. Democrat or Republican, he is our commander-in-chief and our president and as such, he deserves our respect.
When he begins to speak, forget which side of the aisle is standing and listen to what he is trying to achieve. After all would you want to walk a mile in his shoes fighting the constant currents of political opposition?
For more from Neon Tommy's special series examining Obama at the midpoint of his first term, click here.
Reach reporter Dylan Kornbluth here.