President Obama is being hammered from both the left and right wing and from Wall Street to Main Street. The instant gratification society is clamoring for immediate solutions to problems that were years in the making and will be decades in the fixing.
Part of this is driven by the endless stream of bad news from all over the world delivered by an increasingly frenetic news cycle where traditional and internet news media vie to see who can be first with the latest bad news. The pundits then weigh in with their two cents worth, crafting elegant sentences aimed at proving they are right and everybody else from the president on down is wrong.
Criticism from the right is to be expected. Conservatives love to worry, and the more they worry the more fearful they get. The more fearful they get the angrier they get. The clamor from on the left stems from years of frustration with Bush and Cheney. They want every evil Bush-Cheney policy undone RIGHT NOW!
Wall Street – which couldn't or wouldn't see all this coming -- lives by the motto "around every silver lining is a dark cloud." That dark cloud has a name: The banking system. Until Wall Street sees some light at the end of that tunnel, the traders will continue to race to the bottom. If the news is bad, down goes the Dow! If the news is good, down goes the Dow!
On Main Street, the noisy din of the chattering classes is just so much background noise. You don't have to tell the folks who work in the restaurants and dry cleaners and flower shops that times are tough. They know that. What they want to know is when does it begin to get better.
Unfortunately, nobody seems to have an answer to that question. I sure as hell don't. What I do know is that we need to believe that our luck will change. More than that, we have to once again believe that we the people make our own luck.
In that spirit, I ask my brothers and sisters on the left and the right, on Wall Street and Main Street, to join with me in taking a few moments each day to think positively about our chances and to do something to help us work our way out of this crisis. It can be as small as a pat on a worried friend's back or as big as your heart.
Yes, we can. Because we must.