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We have just witnessed the peaceful transition of power from one president to another. As a representative democracy, we have also witnessed the transfer of political power from one party to another, …
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We have just witnessed the peaceful transition of power from one president to another. As a representative democracy, we have also witnessed the transfer of political power from one party to another, bringing some balance to our system of government and representation to a variety of voices. For the first time a black man, Barack Hussein Obama, is the president of this country and promises to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution” on behalf of the American people.
Obama ran on a platform of hope and change, but what does that mean? He carefully avoided specifics during the campaign and by his own admission this allowed voters to attribute their own hopes and dreams to his candidacy so that he appeared to be whatever anyone wanted him to be. Obama likes to invoke comparisons with Abraham Lincoln, but Lincoln knew that one man cannot be all things to all people. That clever bit of salesmanship attracted most of the youthful voters, the minority voters (now the growing majority in this country), and the liberal voters who wanted “anyone but another Bush.”
The media have been fawning over Obama for over a year now and they convinced the majority of voters that he was “the one.” We shall see if he can continue to be all things: black man, white liberal, minority patron and everything else others have attributed to him. It will be interesting to see how the media respond to his governing now that they elected him. After all, nearly half the electorate voted for someone else.
This election was about race and gender and minority representation in a nation dominated by white male leaders, disclaimers notwithstanding. As a result, the expectations from this president are high and the implied promises to his constituency are unlimited. With Congress dominated by members of his political party, what does that mean for the future of our country? Are we on the path to warmed-over European socialism, American style? That question concerns me greatly.
The primary role of the president is protector and defender of our nation and its people. Campaign rhetoric is not about reality. The president faces limited options unrelated to rhetoric when dealing with decisions affecting the safety and security of this nation. Obama is a mere mortal, not a god — there are limits on his power and influence, and he will make mistakes.
As the hegemon in today’s political world, America’s influence and leadership will be tested. Being popular is not important; being respected and strong is, for that is what sustains our freedoms. I hope Obama will be wise enough to see the seductions of our enemies, to understand that the leader of a strong country is not always popular, and to acknowledge that America is more respected than media reports have portrayed.
Obama’s proposed stimulus package would place another monumental financial burden on the taxpayers. I know that it is like asking the fox to monitor the henhouse, but I hope members of Congress seriously examine the advisability of this proposal. I hope they will rationally debate what is best for the country, not consider only its impact on their re-election. There is much controversy among scholars over whether FDR’s extensive public works projects, similar to what is proposed by Obama, actually prolonged the Depression. I hope the natural readjustments of the economic cycle will be respected and direct government intervention will be very limited. Government spending does not promote economic growth; it consumes and redistributes wealth while creating debt obligations. With a bailout comes federal interference in the management of private enterprise; a stimulus package is a tax transfer with a percentage lost for government “shipping and handling.” None of the above is good policy for a capitalist system; it is socialism.
Change I can hope for is leaving behind the politically correct imperatives of the past 30 years. Courtesy, consideration, and reasonableness are what is called for in society, not mind control. Respect is not an entitlement; it is earned. Leadership is more than charisma; it is competence and credibility and doing the right and honorable thing when popular opinion is against you. A good leader affirms those cultural strengths that enrich the American spirit and make our country the envy of the free world.
Change I can believe in is the pursuit of higher standards for our malfunctioning educational system. It is long past time for us to teach our students how to think, not what to think. As a start, I hope for an educational system where emphasis is on what is right and good and honorable about America’s past, present and future along with respect for those who believe in it. I hope students learn the basic principles of economics so that they can become good stewards and responsible adults. There is no other place on earth like America — let us affirm our pride in its substance!
I wish the new president well as he carries out his responsibilities. I believe in limited government and personal responsibility; I oppose expansive and intrusive government programs that promote dependence, reduce personal freedom and limit choice. I will support those proposals I believe are good for our country.
May God bless America and grant the president wisdom as he faces the challenges of the coming years.
Marion Anderson has lived in Clear Creek County since 1970 on Fall River Road. She is married to Clyde Anderson and has been involved in many volunteer activities for civic and private organizations.
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