All hail the chief!
Today is a day that will live in infamy….
Today, America is a real country again…
I am proud of my country for the first time!
It’s only 3pm and these are just some of the statements I have heard uttered today. As a college student that actually went to class, I missed the televised blessed event. My American Revolution professor almost turned it on so that we could lower the flags to half-staff but oh well. ;) I planned to not even touch the topic today, as it tends to turn me into a political warmonger slinging my facts and logic at anyone within a 100 mile radius…but I’ve had enough and I can no longer hold back.
I would describe myself as a logical conservative- meaning my values are those of a conservative, both fiscally and socially; however, I vote for the person I believe will best fit the bill of president of the United States. I voted for John McCain. He was not my favorite option. I would have rather voted for the reincarnation of Reagan, but as we have not moved to that stage of technology, I went for the best option available, which was McCain. The reason I voted the way I did had nothing to do with Obama’s pigmentation….as I am accused of on a near daily basis. (Actually I was pegged as a racist for not wanting to turn my laptop to the watch the festivities during class.) I don’t care if the man was a green guy with 18 toes and spoke Swahili…it does not change the fact that I don’t support the policies and values he stands for and promotes. I however, like many conservatives, took the higher road after the election and chose to show respect due to the leader of this awesome country and pray that he have wisdom, favor, and discernment in the governing of this nation. I hope the best for him and his family and I hold no ill will towards them at all.
What has me on my proverbial soapbox today is the attitude of mainstream America in regards to the former president Bush and his administration, President Obama, and his promises of change and hope. I shall tackle each of these with as much honesty as possible, using only facts and logic to form my conclusions.
1.) Bush….the scapegoat for the nation
How many of us have heard (or stated) that Bush screwed up the nation? Made us look like fools? Drove the economy into the ground? I’ve even heard that Bush was the reason we were attacked on 9/11. All of these allegations are so ridiculous and unfounded that I have trouble comprehending the point someone is making when they are said. Since when is the leader of the nation, who can only do so much without the approval of the Senate and the House, at fault for everything that occurs? Yes, I believe he made some mistakes, and he admitted to the fact in his exit interviews. Why Bush, out of all the previous leaders, is being hit upon so hard, rather than respected for what he has accomplished in office, I have trouble fathoming. Did Bush cause 9/11? No. Did he lead us through that terrible time with strength? Yes. Did he do the best he knew how when Katrina wrecked havoc? Yes. Did he try to preemptively protect the nation from terrorist attacks? Yes. Was he perfect at all of these things? No, but who is!
In the aftermath of these big events, as well as others, it seems as if the United States expected Bush to be a savior, rather than a leader. Logically, we have never had a president that did everything perfectly. The presidents that helped carry us through the world wars were far from perfect, yet they held the nation’s respect for their efforts and their strength in times of crises. I am thoroughly apalled and ashamed of this country’s treatment of George Bush. He is, in fact, human and has made his share of mistakes, but they did not result in everything wrong with this country!
In terms of economics, much of the downfall began when the Democrats took control of the Senate, so stop slinging your mud at Bush simply because he is a public target. A well-renowned economist from Harvard mentioned the fact that changes like we are experiencing right now in the markets do not occur after two bad years. It’s often the result of actions taken up to 10 years before….chew on that for a bit. We did see an increased deficit due to the war, which is another can of worms. To those who say it was all for oil, or that it is a waste of time and money and lives…I would like you to do some personal research on life in Iraq under Saddam Husein’s regime of terror. No, we did not find weapons of mass destruction or Bin Laden, but we gave an entire civilization a chance at a life they would not have had. And in regards to the “hundreds of innocent women and children killed by our soldiers?” The number pales in comparison to those that were killed daily from the reign of Hussein. I would also like to say that had we not gone in to see if there were WMD’s…only to find they were there after the fact…Bush would again be pegged. Ironic, isn’t it?
These are all the small issues and on this topic, I could go on for hours. The simple fact is, Bush ruled the best he knew how, the best any man would know how, and frankly we have no guarantees that life would be any better here in the United States had Al Gore been president…or anyone else for that matter. Furthermore, before you cast your stones at the man who has taken your criticism for 8 years, consider this: can you honestly tell me that you could have handled it better? That things would have been better had you been president? Or any other person? Mr. Bush deserves our respect for the simple facts that as a country, we are safe! We survived through Katrina, and 9/11, and through the anthrax scare and more. He has fought for peace and done everything in his power to protect this country, even if that meant going on the offensive. He has earned our respect. It is as simple as that.
2.) And now to the buzz name of the decade most likely - Mr. President Barack Obama. First off I would like to extend my congratulations to the first African-American President of the United States. As a history major, I do recognize the historical importance of this. But beyond that? I just don’t see it.
Since his candidacy began, he has almost appeared as a savior to the hopeless masses, promising a new era of change (so sick of that word), hope, and promise. People fell so easily into the mantra, demanding for a “new” country and a “new” point of view to revitalize what had become so stale and ineffective.
I’ll admit, President Obama ran a very smooth campaign. Unfortunately, I feel and am supported in my belief, that Obama was elected under false pretenses. A senator with two years experience and a gift for rhetoric just doesn’t cut it in my book. I may be stoned for this but…Hitler was an excellent speaker promising hope and change, as was Castro..that didn’t mean they were right for the job. I believe that in this day and age, Americans are so willing to jump for what looks good and sounds good and makes them feel good…rather than what IS good. They are so willing to put all their eggs in the basket of a savior-figure in whom they can put all their trust into. HE will fix the economy. HE will bring my family out of financial ruin. HE will bring peace to the Middle East. HE will make America great. HE will save us all.
Pardon me, while I cough on the absurdity of our modern thinking. HE IS A MAN. Nothing more. He is not a savior. He is not a hero. He is a celebrity. Now do not misunderstand, I do have high hopes for his administration, but I have become so vexed by this ridiculous perspective on Obama…as if he is the sole answer to all our problems. This man is not the vehicle to bring your family out of financial ruin…YOU ARE. He is not the man to change your stars…YOU ARE! In this age, personal accountability and responsibility have become figments of an idealistic life clung to by those of us still fighting to live in a country based on the Constitution. This country was not founded on the idea of an all-giving, all-knowing, savior type who would save us all with his law degree and goodwill. Get up off your butts and do it yourself! This mentality has had me in stitches, as if you can’t tell.
Now I am a conservative (if you haven’t caught on yet) so fundamentally, President Obama and I don’t paddle in the same canoe. We would be more likely to be playing chicken in fighter planes. At the core of our differences is the concept of personal responsibility. Pres. Obama stated that he doesn’t “want (his) daughters punished with a baby” if they make a mistake, while I believe that if they make the mistake, they don’t punish the child by aborting it because they don’t want to face the consequences of their action. Pres. Obama supports more handouts through social programs, while I believe you should get up and work hard and make your own way. Pres. Obama believes that National health care would make a big difference in health reform. I do not believe in sacrificing quality in health care to cut costs…there are other things that can be cut to make health care more affordable…like the social security we will never receive.
These are fundamental differences between the new President and I, which I’m sure some of you share as well. But you know what’s important here. I still respect the President. He is my Commander-in-chief and therefore, I respect him. (I’m making a subtle connection between Obama and Bush here…take the hint!) I do not believe that Obama will solve the problems in my life. It is my life…that’s my job. I can only hope and pray that he does a good job upholding the Constitution AS IT WAS WRITTEN and protecting and preserving our great nation.
Lastly, my heart has nearly been broken today to hear so many say that they are proud of this country for the first time in their lives. This makes me want to h*** up in my apartment and read about the great times in history when the people of this great country were GRATEFUL and PROUD to be an American. We have become so spoiled, selfish, and petty in this land that it disgusts me. You say we look like fools and the rest of the world hates us…
Do you have a roof over your head?
Do you have food on your table?
Do you have a right to free speech?
Do you the right to worship what and where you please?
Do you have the option to make goals and have dreams and the chance to fulfill them?
In the United States of America, you have all these things and more. We have been so blessed as a country. According to the UN Wealth distribution report from last year: At present, 3 billion people live on less than $2 per day while 1.3 billion get by on less than $1 per day. Seventy percent of those living on less than $1 per day are women.
1.3 billion people in this world live on what it cost you to buy that Dr. Pepper.
In India, the caste system is set up so that no one born into the bottom rungs can ever succeed above that level.
1,309,347,408 people are without clean drinking water (this statistic increased 10 people per second)
19,338 people died of hunger today (increases 7 people per second)
272,034 people died from water-related deaths in the last year
890,901,309 people are undernourished right now
2,482,583 abortions in 2008 (statistic increases 3 times per second) (worldwide)
(68,012 of those abortions above were due to rape, incest, or threat to mother’s health)
The next time you complain about the crappy food you have or the quality of your school lunch remember this:
The World Health Organization estimates that one-third of the world is well-fed, one-third is under-fed one-third is starving- Since you’ve entered this site at least 200 people have died of starvation. Over 4 million will die this year.
And you feel that you have the right to complain and not be proud of this country??
Be proud to be an American. You have a chance to have a life that the majority of the world can only dream of. Regardless of who is in the Oval Office, we live in a great nation, a land of promise..not one spoken of by a presidential candidate, but a promise given to you in the Constitution; a promise that exists deep within the soul of this country. A promise that has been fought for and defended, at the cost of precious American lives. A promise coveted by those outside our borders and one we don’t extend as freely as we should. A promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. One that is as true today as it was in 1776; one that is waiting to be grabbed by each, blessed individual of this country. It is not a promise freely given, but one that is fought for. This fight, to me, is the essence of what it means - to be an American.