President Obama only reminds Americans not to expect anything out of politicians’ promises.
Our presidents have an effective way of making their citizens run to their open arms in the midst of a crisis. In fact, I think if George W. Bush were on a movie date with a nice Texan girl, he would pick a movie like Paranormal Activity and be ready to catch her when she screams and turns her head away from the screen in horror. Only in reality, the movie would be called The War on Terror, and his date would be the American people.
Bush wasn’t even a year into his term when he was handed unified national identity and citizen loyalty on a silver platter. According to BBC’s tracking of the former president’s popularity throughout his eight years – which merges polls from Gallup, Fox News and CBS News – his approval ratings jumped about 30 percent, breaking the 80 percent mark, once the Twin Towers were hit on Sept. 11, 2001.
However, we all know about the downhill slope after that. As his second term came to a close, CNN released poll results in May 2008 pinning Bush as the least popular president in American history – more unpopular than Nixon just before he resigned. How did this happen? Analysts would say that as the war in Iraq lost support, so did Bush.
It seems as though citizens were hopeful for change, which is where Barack Obama stepped in. But the change is not as drastic as you think. It’s just a different movie, called Global Economic Crisis. The bigger difference lies in Obama’s arm candy: the American people, who are much more restless. Imagine if you hadn’t been on a good date in almost eight years – you’d be ready to jump on the next good lookin’ person who asks you out. Many of us thought that Obama was a much-needed breath of fresh air.
But instead, America is just realizing that she might have a type. You know, you think you found something different, but he’s really just the same personality you go after again and again. Obama was everything some of us could have ever have wanted in a guy, promising us no tax increases, swift action regarding healthcare reform and administrative transparency.
Then, the signs of a possible mistake started to appear: The budget promises tax increases, albeit for the wealthy; socialized health care is on the back burner; and deals are made behind closed doors.
Some of us might give him a break. After all, he can’t fix in a year what Bush ruined in eight. It takes a lot of time, resources and support to make big political shifts, even if they are “for the better.” But I really don’t think this relationship is going to work. Relationships require mutual respect and honest communication. We gave Obama our all during his presidential campaign. Then, once elected, we were left alone and abandoned.
“As president, Obama promised to use technology to open up the halls of power and keep the American people involved,” Rolling Stone writer Tim Dickinson reminded readers. But then, “Obama’s grass-roots network effectively went dark for two months after Election Day,” Dickinson added.
Two months? What are we supposed to think after two months without a single phone call? We campaigned for him, registered voters for him. We were ready to fight for him once he was elected in November. Like many of us, Dickinson noticed a “strong sense of betrayal” after the failures of the past year, particularly the loss of Ted Kennedy’s seat in Ccongress. But there was no mobilization of Obama’s supporters who cheered him on during his campaign. It didn’t even seem like he wanted to win that seat – just the presidency.
Stubborn Bush supporters were criticized in the final months of his second term because they claimed they would still vote the same, despite the glaring disappointments throughout his eight years. I implore that Obama voters not be so stubborn. Sure, he looked like our savior, but he’s just a guy from Illinois – a politician from Illinois. We should stop relying on him for our happiness and welfare and instead, look to ourselves. Relationships take work, and Obama doesn’t seem to be working for us. We need to demand the change he promised. We need to enact it ourselves.
Sarah Sanders can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.