Admittedly, I never was a fan of President Obama, either as a candidate or now as president. I always suspected, based on his dependence on corporate money and his lackluster career as a state and US senator that he would, ultimately, prove to be a big disappointment to the millions of Democrats, liberals, progressives and independents that fell for his slick rhetoric. He has always been too much a part of the two-party plutocracy to ever be a true reformer. Here are some of the main reasons that he should cut his ties to corporate and political elites, announce that he will not run for reelection and, instead, become the populist, reformist president the nation desperately needs:
Though he certainly inherited a terrible economy from the Bush administration, he has steadfastly pursued the same policies (and with the same characters) to address terrible things about the national economy as well as the banking, financial and housing sectors that one would expect from someone too concerned about corporate interests rather than the needs of most Americans. All the billions of dollars pumped into business sectors has done next to nothing to stop the awful, continuing unemployment situation that has become yet another nail in the coffin of the middle class. The many greedy people on Wall Street that sunk the national and global economies have not been punished, but still hold on to their huge wealth. Obama has made a mockery of the rule of law with his infantile "I want to look forward, not backward" philosophy. Justice cannot be obtained other than by looking back and prosecuting the lawbreakers.
At a time when there are historic levels of Americans unable to buy enough food and, therefore, increasingly dependent on government food stamps or charity food banks and pantries, and millions more are losing their homes and going homeless, and still more millions unable to access affordable health care, President Obama is still pursuing the obscenely costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. To waste American lives and ignore enormous domestic economic needs in pursuit of imperialistic wars is insultingly shameful. This kind of behavior would have been totally expected from a Republican president. No reasonable American should ever condone such behavior that continues to put the nation in long term financial peril that will surely negatively impact the lives of Americans for many decades to come.
Third, Obama's performance on health care reform has been abysmal. Rather than show genuine leadership, he left if up to the corporate-controlled House and Senate to create highly delusional and deceptive health care reform bills. What the country needed was a president that was a champion for a single-payer universal health care system. Instead, what we will surely get is a bill that Obama will happily sign and then declare victory even though very few Americans will see lower costs, better insurance coverage, more affordable access to health care or the freedom to get into a first-rate government program.
In sum, Obama's policies and tactics are killing Americans, not metaphorically but literally. For these reasons alone, Americans should make it clear that they have lost confidence in President Obama. He needs to see that the vast majority of Americans are suffering too much in so many ways that he needs to make a sharp turn in his policies, programs and staff. Better to be a really good, historic one-term president than a losing two-termer. Giving up a second term would take courage, and courage is what President Obama needs to work for ordinary Americans, not the rich and powerful ones that continue to benefit from this administration like prior Republican ones.
Time for more Americans to stop succumbing to Obama's slick talk and promises and start demanding very loudly that their government work more aggressively to fix the burdens hitting at least a third of the population. Our current domestic conditions are so dire that if history provided any appropriate message, then President Obama should be made to see that the radical, revolutionary talk coming mostly from the right will surely become shared by the larger fraction of suffering Americans seeing themselves as liberals, independents and progressives. The time for revolution is now. Will it be peaceful or violent? That is what our political leaders (with their full stomachs, nice homes, secure income and great health care insurance) should be made to stay awake at night thinking about.
Back in August we heard this from Obama's press secretary: "I don't know that I've specifically heard him on health care," said Gibbs, "but I have heard the president say that if making tough decisions in getting important things done that Washington has failed to do for decades means that he only lives in this house and makes those decisions for four years, he's quite comfortable," Gibbs told reporters at the White House press briefing.
What I am advocating is that millions of Obama supporters use critical thinking to evaluate his performance and recognize that there have been many US presidents that have served just one term, because that's all they deserved.