"Yes we can". This was the battle cry for change. For hope. For...more extremely vague concepts. President Obama promised the citizens of the United States that a vote for him would be a vote for righting all the wrongs of the Bush presidency. So what happened? Well, to paraphrase President Obama himself from his recent appearance on Jon Stewart's program, it's still 'yes we can.' But...everything takes time.
The biggest problems facing this new administration were the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the spiraling economy and the negative perception of this country around the world. To think that any one administration could clear all that up in a short amount of time would be ludicrous. As a matter of thought, the public would have given Obama all the time he needed to get the country turned around, provided he was obviously putting forth the effort. So what happened?
The universal health care bill. That is what happened. I mean, yes...there are many factors that lead to the decline in popularity of this president, but I believe this is the main reason. The concept of health care for the needy itself should actually to be applauded. Whether you think health care should be a right or priviledge doesn't matter. Here's a president who's doing something he believes will benefit the average citizen rather than the upper class. Okay...that's pretty cool.
The problem is that he did not clean the dishes before he started cooking. There was a mess and Obama went ahead with a new agenda rather than clean Bush's mess. Rather than awkwardly push health care onto a perplexed country, Obama should have pulled the troops out of Iraq and refocused the mission on hunting down those responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Bush's attempt to finish his father's war was a huge mistake. The world was with us when we vowed to go to war on terror. Then, all of a sudden...Iraq! Nearly 10 years after the attack, bin Laden isn't even trying to run anymore. I digress.
With his election, favor for the US rebounded nicely around the world. 2 years later? More apathy than anything else. Corporations and celebrities from the US are the real news, the real power. And with ending the Iraq war and going after bin Laden, confidence that this president was righting the wrongs of his predecessor? That would have, most likely, boosted confidence in the economy and national pride.
President Obama is an intelligent man. Nice change after the previous administration. But Obama needs to understand that people are more influenced by what he does rather than what he says. When he was a candidate, people listened...because they had hope through his rhetoric. Now people have been watching and are asking when will "yes we can" actually begin? Yes, we don't expect to have change overnight. We do, however, want to see the course of the nation be set towards the change we hope for.