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Giving Obama a Break

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This article tries to defend Obama against his detractors.


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It strikes me that people are being very quick to write Obama off as either

1) A spineless coward who is afraid to stand on principles.

2) A malicious liar who deliberately deceived people just to get elected and is now making no effort to fulfill any of the promises he made.

So, Obama is either a feeble idiot or positively evil. But I think that it's important to keep some things in mind.

1) It is very easy for bloggers to throw rocks at Obama and claim that he could be doing good things, but is simply refusing to. However, when you are the one who is actually in charge, and the decisions you make are going to have practical and unforeseeable consequences, I suspect that the world is far more complicated than pundits and commentators would like to believe.

2) Enacting a policy simply because you promised to do so during a presidential campaign would seem to me to be a very bad idea, and it would also seem rather unrealistic to expect ANY President to do so, especially one who inherited as many difficult problems as Obama did. I suspect that Obama himself underestimated the complexity of the problems he would be facing one he entered office - as, I am sure, do most men who run for President.

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3) Every politician needs to learn to compromise. A diverse portion of the political spectrum helped to elect Obama, and he simply can't be expected to make all of his supporters completely happy. Furthermore, many of the changes he would like to see, such as health care reform, are in the hands of Congress, over which Obama has no formal power. It seems to me that it would be better to compromise in order to accomplish some of your goals than to refuse to compromise "on principle" and get nothing done as a result.

4) Obama has been in office for SIX MONTHS. Give the man a chance. Give his policies time to work. I suspect that anyone who has already lost patience with him probably didn't have much to begin with.

-Jason Racette

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My name is Jason Racette and I am working on an MA in philosophy at UMass Amherst. In addition to an interest in history and literature, I have always had an interest in politics as well, and I have a strong belief in the goodness of democracy as (more...)
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