Monday, August 9, 2010

Are You Embarrassed Yet?

This morning I say a large billboard with Obama's photo and the caption,"Did You Vote for Obama? Are you Embarrassed Yet?". I had two immediate reactions to this:

1. I strongly disagreed with the policies and actions of the Bush administration,but
didn't see a similar anti-Bush sign because for years Bush convinced many that to
criticize him was to "aid the other side in the War on Terrorism". What a farce!

2. I did vote for Obama and I am not embarrassed to admit that I did.

I am neither an idealist nor a "my party, right or wrong" person. When I worked on
the local level to help with his presidential campaign, I knew that I would not agree with everything that he would eventually be given credit for. In addition to decisions that he might make, I was fully aware that under our federal form of government, we have a system of checks and balances that puts constraints on what the head of the executive branch can do. Given that, I am still not embarrassed for choosing to vote for the man.

First of all, after eight very long years it is refreshing to have an intelligent, articulate president. Secondly, in spite of the Bush political and economic legacy, Obama has tried to make a positive difference. In a relatively short time a health care bill has been passed, increased financial accountability has been instituted, the war in Iraq is closer to an end, and personal freedoms endangered by the patriot Act have been restored.

Does this mean that I am perfectly content? Not in the least. The health care bill was watered down due to a Congress strongly influenced by lobbyists. The stimulus funds have not all been effectively distributed so that those who are unemployed can go back to work at a comparable level of employment and compensation. The viability of our military actions in Afghanistan raise so serious questions. Iraq still seems to be a quagmire in terms of accounting for money spent and to bring all U.S. troops out so that not one more American needlessly loses his/her life. Equal rights for all in terms of marriage and legal status is yet to be resolved. Congress has still not been made to understand that the issues that We, the People are now dealing with have no room for bipartisan bickering.

In spite of all of the above, I am still not embarrassed to say that I voted for Obama. Our total national situation is better than it would have been if the same issues had been dealt with by a Bush surrogate. My bottom line is that after nearly two years of an Obama administration I still believe tan "Yes, we can"".

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