Keeping the Faith Despite Obama’s Lackluster Year

President Obama

A year has come and gone since Barack Obama took the oath of office of the President of the United States, and it has been an underachieving one in certain ways. Many gay rights advocates, medical marijuana users, war protesters, and US citizens in general are angry at the fact that President Obama has not achieved some of the goals he claimed he would achieve within his first year in office.  Before I state my point, let’s briefly discuss some of the issues at hand.

Mr. Obama’s stance on gay rights yielded a massive turnout of gay and lesbian voters on election day, but his failures to support gay marriage and end the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the US Military have left the gay and lesbian citizens feeling cheated. Some even believe Obama’s silence aided in the passing of Proposition 8 in California, and this is a likely scenario. Obama has made it clear that he believes “marriage is between a man and a woman,” yet he failed to mention this as his stance during his presidential campaign.

Another issue Mr. Obama addressed during his campaign was ending the raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in states where the sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes is legal. The Obama administration sent a memo to all U.S. Attorneys entitled, “Investigations and Prosecutions in States Authorizing the Medical Use of Marijuana,” and the memo failed to address ending the federal raids on medical marijuana dispensaries. Ending the federal raids would not only equate to Mr. Obama sticking to his word; it would also be one step closer to legalization which would vastly jump start the economy.

Gay rights and marijuana law reform are definitely two important issues on the table, but perhaps one of the most important issues Mr. Obama addressed throughout the course of his campaign was ending the war in Iraq. I feel that Mr. Obama is incorporating a play on words. First, he was going to end the war in Iraq, and he eventually changed his stance to removing the combat troops from Iraq. This does not sit well with many of the “peace freak tree huggers” who voted for him based on his opposition for the war. However, Mr. Obama has promised that “our combat mission in Iraq will end” by August 31, 2010.

Mr. Obama also made promises regarding health care reform, and many of those promises were broken. Obama took a stance against individual health insurance mandates during his campaign, but both versions of the health care bill currently include that. He also promised a public option, which is a government-run insurance plan that would compete with private insurers. However, this was just another broken promise from President Obama. In addition to these broken promises, Obama’s plan to allow lower-cost drug imports into the United States was also a failure.

Aside from the issues that have been mentioned, there is the current state of the economy that is at the forefront of today’s problems. Mr. Obama has promised to create new “green” jobs in 2010, and improving the job market needs to be high on his priority list. Many people believed Mr. Obama would be the savior of the US economy when in fact, the national debt has increased by $1.693 trillion under his watch.

Mr. Obama’s first year as president may appear to be a lackluster one to some, but I personally feel that he deserves two years in office before we begin to pass judgment. Yes, promises were broken, and many people are upset. However, we must support our Commander in Chief and consider how meticulously and strategically these issues must be examined by the president and his administration. Year one has come and gone. It is now time to start seeing the effects of the president’s actions.

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  1. I agree one year is too early to judge the President’s success– you mentioned several pre-election promises that have either been ignored or compromised somewhat. I know Presidents are frequently forced to bend on certain issues in order to make progress on more important items– in this case, health care reform and the economic recession certainly demand more of his attention than legalizing marriage for same-sex individuals.

    • Geoff Carr
    • March 25th, 2010

    Interesting post. I’d get rid of the ” ” in some of your hyperlinks.

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