I was just watching Obama’s first press conference as President, and I must say that I was quite impressed. Not only is our President super cool, articulate, and rather sexy (it had to be said), but he has the substance to match his style.
Let me state (though I believe I have before!) that I’m by no means Barack Obama’s biggest fan–in fact, I campaigned for another candidate. With all of the inaugural excitement, I got a bit caught up in the romanticism of his story and the many historical and hitherto unprecedented aspects of our President.
So I might have given off the impression that I’m one of the many Barack-obsessed people in our society and in my generation in particular; however, I am not.
I am, of course, exceptionally patriotic in the sense that I have been lucky enough to spend time in a variety of places in the world, and these experiences have helped me to gain a great sense of gratitude for the fact that I am lucky enough to call America home. It’s actually quite funny because I probably make fun of American culture and American stereotypes more than most, but that is only because I love it so very much–and I know it isn’t necessarily “cool” or whatever to profess one’s passionate love for America (at least with the people I know, hating on our country is quite popular) but having a number of friends (and a mum!) from other countries has really deepened my sense of gratitude for the opportunities I have had, as well as my appreciation for our unique place in the world. In fact, I hate to be the American sitting here professing our “leadership” in the world, but the election of President Obama really emphasized to me once again that we are such a special, one-of-a-kind country and that the “American Dream” is still a relevant concept.
Okay that was a bit of a tangent, but relevant to my point that regardless of my political beliefs or previous alignments in terms of candidate, I support President Obama wholeheartedly because I am a genuine patriot. That said, my primary issue with him is the same as it has been since two years ago–his lack of experience. I hope, I pray, I sincerely wish that he’ll prove me wrong; he is without a doubt incredibly intelligent and certainly has taken swift action thus far, but there is NOTHING in the world that could convince me to change places with homeboy–not the fountain of youth, not the sorcerer’s stone, not even a magic carpet. He is in charge of a country going through something that I’m sure even he failed to foresee when he chose to run for President; he literally has the “weight of the world on his shoulders.”
And I must say, I’m incredibly impressed with the poise, decisiveness, and candor with which he has governed thus far. He instills a sense of confidence in even me, the most skeptical of skeptics. This is a man who is well-aware of our country’s great and occasionally challenging history, and who has a vision of our country’s future that he is bringing into the present. I really feel as though “the future is today” in terms of Obama’s outlook and the fact that he is looking extremely long-term in terms of the changes that need to be made.
This also brings me to the purpose/focus of the press conference: the new economic package. I’m not particularly keen to discuss my political beliefs on here, but it suffices to say that I am the last person to advocate for irresponsible government spending. It would be wonderful if it weren’t a consideration right now, or if things could begin going in the right direction once again without large-scale intervention, but I just don’t see that happening. I don’t in any way, shape, or form like the idea of this economic package.
However, I feel that the price of doing nothing is going to be far greater than any amount of money in the long run. I’m not going to get into any drawn out discussion of Margaret Thatcher or FDR or socialism, because it’s all in the past and to be perfectly honest, I feel it’s irrelevant. Ideologically and perhaps even intellectually, I feel that this economic package Obama is proposing is probably not going to work (that is, be 100% effective). Unfortunately, I don’t think this is a time when we can afford to wait it out and hope for the best; I don’t think it is a time where “best case scenarios” are relevant, because without action, I do believe we will be seeing a “‘worst-case scenario”, and more quickly than the average American may think. If this is the best plan they can come up with–and call me naive, but I’m willing to trust that this is truly the best plan our nation’s most brilliant minds have to offer–then I don’t see the point of recognizing all the things that are wrong with it, or all the ways it may fail to succeed. ANY amount of success would be great at this point.
As Obama himself put it, he didn’t expect this–no one did, but we’re going to deal with it the best we can and we’re going to deal with it proactively.
I’m as uneasy as anyone about the notion of spending such a great sum of money on a plan that may not even be helpful in the ways that we need it to be, but I think the thing Americans need to grasp is that this is only the tip of the iceberg. The way things are trending leads me to believe that the notion of doing nothing is far more scary than huge government spending. Escalating job loss, homelessness, and our suffering financial market are serious issues now–with the accelerating rate of this crisis, I don’t know about you, but I’m with Obama–I don’t want to wait and see how much worse things can get.
Just had to vent some of my thoughts that emerged during the press conference. Now I must get back to my compulsive CNN viewing!