Guest Editorial: Hoping for Change in 2012
By Carlton Holliday Jr.
President Barack Obama was reelected president of the United States of America on Nov. 6, 2012. I am excited that he has been reelected. However, I do feel as though there will be no change. I don’t really believe that there will be any fewer problems in the world. Bigots will still be around. There will still be people discriminated against on the basis of their race, socioeconomic status or sexual orientation. All of the problems of the world will not be erased.
America is the land of opportunity. In this country anyone can become and achieve anything. If you work hard and make sacrifices anything can be accomplished. The motto is that anyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps and do whatever they put their mind to. But America is also the place where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. For centuries blacks and people of color have been discriminated against and treated as less than equal to their white counterparts.
The face of America is changing. There are more people of different ethnicities living in America today than ever before. According to news sources, the number of black and Latino voters have grown exponentially since the 2008 election while the number of white voters has steadily declined. The United States has become more diverse than ever before. While the white vote has always been the largest voting bloc, today there are growing numbers of voters who are single women, gay and lesbian, and 18-to-27 years old. Social media have also changed the way people view politics. Younger people are more aware of the issues and see ads on the Internet that they may never see while watching television.
There is so much class warfare within our society. The biggest class warfare is between the haves and have nots, and this has been made obvious during this grueling campaign. Many wealthy people believe that those who are not as fortunate are moochers. Opportunities for the less fortunate are already limited and to characterize them as horrible people is just unfair. The difference between being rich and poor is astronomical. It is a shame that we live in the wealthiest nation on the planet and so many of our nation’s own people are living below the poverty line. One percent of the people control the nation’s wealth and they have so much power to influence so many people. I think that this was brought to America’s attention the Occupy Wall Street movement and later through the long campaign season. As a result, more people have become cognizant of the issues and they don’t blame the economy on Obama.
Obama walked into a very volatile situation. America was already in a recession and struggling to recover from the less than stellar presidency of George W. Bush. His extreme views on so many issues left the country polarized. Many citizens were opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan led by the United States. Many citizens questioned the validity of the facts presented to Congress before the wars began. These conflicts have left so many civilians and soldiers dead or injured; the Middle East destroyed, and international loyalties strained. So much money was spent on these wars and America’s reputation may be damaged beyond repair. After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina many people were disgusted with Bush’s policies and leadership skills. I believe the only reason Obama won his first term was because Bush was just so awful. He even made some Republicans embarrassed and ashamed to be part of such a party. Bush left United States divided and with little hope.
Obama came on the scene in 2008 like a knight in shining armor to rescue the nation. Many people criticized him and placed too much responsibility on his shoulders. In his first term, he had so many ideas and propositions that were shot down. The Republicans in the House of Representatives made it obvious that they did not want to compromise and work with Obama to make America better. It leaves me wondering whether if race has anything to do with this.
I am not on the Obama bandwagon. I do feel that he is the right candidate for the job compared to the alternative, Gov. Mitt Romney, but I do not believe that he is the sole solution to all of our nation’s problems. To me Obama is the lesser of two evils. With Romney I felt as if the nation would have been taking steps backward. Back to days were discrimination was very obvious and legal. Romney just seemed too out of touch with the middle class and everyday working people. He knows very little about struggle and nothing about having to do without. His character was called into question on numerous occasions. He appeared to say anything to win over a vote. He would blatantly disrespect or brush off one community. He seemed very desperate. His way of winning more votes was to cause more chaos and confusion. He started the war on women and his policy for illegal immigrants was to self deport. His policies were too conservative, but he was the most liberal of all of the other Republican candidates. I don’t believe he had a great strategy. His game plan for winning the election was very bizarre and most of his downfalls were self-inflected wounds.