Democracy of Hypocrisy

Crisis has struck the United States. It has been less than a year since the president was sworn into office and he is already faced with his first test. Citizens are panicking, worried about their personal security and the international community waits in anticipation of our response. The people are uniting behind the president; everyone wants to see him succeed.

And as quickly as it has come, it has gone. The president, possibly out of a need to take advantage of his overwhelming support or maybe to establish a legacy (the motives are of secondary importance), has acted hastily and in what is considered to be an unmeasured response. He should have heard more opinions, paid attention to advisors, not spent so much money so quickly…the list of complaints has been developing steadily. How the country will recover from this impassioned act of good intentions and poor management remains to be seen.

Which president am I referring to? Which crisis? It appears as if our new president, the same one who modeled himself as the anti-Bush, seems to be employing many of his “opposite” same tactics, fear mongering among them.

HOW DARE YOU! President Obama is not a fear mongerer. Newt Gingrich, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush are, but not Barack “he’s my Bro’-bama.” But when a president comes before the country and says “we are going through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression” and then proceeds to use that as justification for whichever and whatever spending he and his fellow party members in Congress please, it sounds a little like fear mongering. Nor does it help when your chief of staff reveals his opinions on the subject, stating, “never allow a good crisis to go to waste. They are opportunities to do big things.”

I agree with that to a certain extent. Desperate times call for desperate measures. But when President Roosevelt passed the first phase of his New Deal, he did so after spending 100 days with Congress hammering out the details. Obama’s stimulus package was passed in less than 100 days and without Obama even knowing what it said, or for that matter anybody knowing everything that was in it. Now, I’m not so na’ve — or conservative — to say that no government spending was needed, but I can’t help but think we would have been able to hold on a little bit longer for a better, more efficient result. But in the spirit of Obamamania, we could; so we did.

“Yes we can” literally means yes we are able to, yes we know how to, yes we have the power to or yes we have the right to. Can what? None of those ever hint at following through with any specific course of action.

Yet it was those three short sweet words that inspired a nation to vote President Barack Obama into the Oval Office. And though I might not have originally been on the Obama bandwagon, I eventually took to the grandeur of his promises and the optimism of his vision. I came to believe that the time for partisanship was indeed over and that we had to look past our conservative or liberal agendas to overcome this economy in distress. I came to believe that yes we could.

While the economy seems to be stabilizing, forecasts predict that it will still get worse before it gets better. And even if it does get better soon, what kind of position will we college students be in after all $787 billion is spent?