President Obama: “Long Live the King”
The chant “Long Live the King” was favored by loyalists during medieval times where monarchies ruled. The political right wing extremists of today have repeatedly made cynical intimations that our President is a Czarist or an aspiring King. Of course, this is nothing more than further efforts to malign his restorative and progressive agenda. In truth, progressive may be a bit of an overstatement. If the President were a king, I would not be chanting “Long Live the King” at today. I’d be thinking about it though. Why? The President struggled at times during his first year in office, but he has definitely got his mojo back!
It is true, even supporters in various camps have not been thoroughly pleased, satisfied or appeased by some of President Obama’s efforts thus far. But one has only to take a long hard look at what has been accomplished, and what is in the works, to reach a reasonable conclusion about the President’s current and future effectiveness. This administration has already made numerous historic strides where others have failed or withheld action.
Most likely, the only challenge of political and social significance that our President will face throughout the remainder of his initial term is employment. Jobs, jobs, jobs or the lack thereof, will be the complaint, even accusation; leveled against him by the opposition and by the electorate when the time comes. Even many of those who so fully support the concept of change as candidate Obama presented it will be hard pressed to vote for him again if they are starving in unemployment. From a political standpoint the only question that remains is whether all of the achievements that this administration already has to its credit gives the American voters the confidence to stand with the President for another term. As it stands, most believe that it will still take a number of years for the economy to fully bounce back and for employment numbers to recover to acceptable norms. What we don’t know is whether people fully understand and appreciate:
(1) The President did not create this mess.
(2) The situation was so tremendously dire that the efforts of the President and Congress will take some significant number of future years to make things right. More importantly…
(3) Will Americans be presented with adequate indicators and a clear and viable plan for a hopeful recovery?
Banking Reform means little to someone who lost their life’s savings during the collapse of late 2008 and the same can be said of Housing Reform. Healthcare Reform is a marvelous beginning for those who it will initially touch, but many have been left in positions from which they cannot recover, both physically and financially. The same holds true for national unemployment. The President’s new initiatives may insulate Americans from being victimized in the future, but if you were a victim in the past… well, you’re screwed! If you lost your job or your savings or your home, you may find it difficult to cheer for those who are now protected or for a man who has now provided that umbrella of security for so many.
The rug was pulled out from under us all by the Bush Administration and there is really no denying that. That is not the President’s fault. Complicit with the Bush Administration, some corporations and their leadership are to blame. If I would criticize President Obama for anything now, it would be his failure to call for the heads of the agencies and corporations who made so many Americans victims. This aside, and looking at the political big picture however, tells a story of a man, a President with big dreams and an even bigger commitment to taking care of the people of this country.
That is the story that must somehow be effectively told so that Americans will understand and remember. This will certainly be the truth even when things may not be going very well in their personal households. Even so, that’s a lot to ask.
There is also a political good news story embedded in all of this if you are a supporter of the President or the Democrats. As politically dormant, vile and fractured as the Republican Party has become, it has morphed into something that is equally frightening and ridiculous. There is much to observe in the daily news that supports these charges, even from a moderate or centrist perspective. The point being, if you think McCain / Palin was a joke, wait until the next election. Just as I predicted “ole’ what’s her name” would melt down right before our eyes in the last election, I predict a Republican Civil War that will have us microwaving popcorn before the news airs each night.
Our President will not be required to magically pull the political sword from a stone to enlist our continued support. That would not be nearly enough. He must find a way to do something much more difficult and all consuming. President Obama will have to find a way put people back to work and to pull this nation back from the jaws of economic disaster.
If he does, I will count myself among his most humble subjects (all in good humor) as I lead the chant “Long Live the King”. I will do this so that I can make my conservative neighbors cringe.
L. A. Walker