by Peter Stern
Progressives are both correct and wrong to be upset with President Barack Obama. The fact is that throughout Obama's campaigning the American people were promised change. Obama promised the American people a lot of changes. He promised to change our stance in Iraq, to provide jobs for all Americans, to stop corporate welfare, to make health care reform a priority and to stop the political games in Washington, D.C.
President Obama had indeed tried to make some changes; however, he has a Republican minority Congress that is out to impede most of his efforts. Why? The reason the GOP wants to suppress Obama's determination to reform or resolve the big issues is because the party lost face in the last election and Republicans want to regain seats they lost in the last election and they want to gain even more to again become the majority party operating in Congress. Had Senator John McCain won the presidency, the Democrats would be plotting the same thing. The two-party politics in Washington is destroying our American democracy.
Progressives are correct that while there have been a few changes made by the Obama administration, it is not enough. In fact, some of the changes have added to our self-inflicts economic demise. Obama is continuing some of the corporate social welfare started by the Bush administration when it bailed-out the financial sector before turning the management of this nation over to the Obama administration. Obama pushed to bail-out the auto industry upon the recommendation of his economic advisers. Ford Motors remains one of the few who did not accept any bail-out tax dollars. On the other hand, General Motors not only took our tax dollars, but it also added to the high unemployment rate by shutting down one-third of its dealerships and then the CEO public acclaimed that GM would NOT repay the bail-out money as had been originally part of the agreement. Americans should buy Ford while boycotting GM.
Progressives are upset with Obama because the plan to reform health care does not appear to resolve a lot of issues that currently are plaguing our current system. Americans are paying too much for inadequate health care coverage. There are too many out of pocket expenses. The new plan is not a cure. It falls short and it will cost billions to set up and manage. Still, the plans will favor the corporate health providers and other special interests. By 2014 Obama plans to punish those who do not purchase the new health care plans. Progressive will say this is NOT democracy, and they are correct.
During the past decade presidential administrations have taken away more of our inalienable and civil rights and the Obama administration has not changed that course. We profess to be a democracy, but we fight oil prompted special interest imperialist wars overseas and provide corporate welfare when the sector demands it. When the corporate sector is raking in profits, our government lacks any protective oversight to ensure the safety of American consumers.
Progressives will say that the American worker and middle class are doomed. Without a more progressive direction, our economy will worsen and the domino-effect will further destroy the representative democracy we are losing. One of the big problems is that Obama cannot create positive change by himself. If Congress refuses to work together without party affiliations and instead work for the community good, we will continue to be run by the Corporate Military Complex, as former President Dwight D. Eisenhower predicted in his Presidential Farewell Address.
As it now looks, Democrats and Republicans refuse to work together to improve the lives of all Americans and both parties permit the Corporate sector to control our direction in the name of profiteering. Progressives are both correct and wrong to be upset with President Obama; however, no president can create positive changes alone. Congress needs to rise-up to the occasion, but unfortunately it looks as though it will stay special interest driven.