What’s Left: Tuned Out



I’m going to be honest with everyone on this one: I didn’t watch the State of the Union. It’s not because I don’t care or I’m an anarchist. I did have a lot of work that night and listening to the President talk and Congress applaud every couple minutes didn’t really peak my interest at the time. Besides these very superficial reasons for not tuning in, my other reasons are much more grounded in my political beliefs. Like many of my peers on the left, we have witnessed the shortcomings of President Obama. There was so much talk about the sweeping change he would bring to Washington politics and reshape the face of America as we know it. While I realize it’s only been a year, not much has changed in my opinion.

I don’t really need the President to tell me what the State of the Union is. I could ask anyone in town or anyone in the area for that matter and they’d probably say the same thing: the State of the Union isn’t so great. We’re still in a recession, still in a war, still have no healthcare plan and Guantanamo is still open. I don’t think anyone likes being told they’re going to get something, and then not get it. I’m personally sick of false promises and gross shortcomings. Now, I realize that President Obama, like any other politician, will promise things that he can’t deliver. I can handle that. I knew we weren’t going to get everything he promised during the election. What makes President Obama such a disappointment is that he built practically his entire campaign on being a beacon of hope and change. He inspired and brought people together under the assumption that he would mark a true change in American politics. What will happen to us if he cannot live up to his expectations? If we can’t trust Obama to bring about change, then who will we trust?

A little over week ago, President Obama told Diane Sawyer in an interview with ABC News that he would be happy as a “good one-term president”. I see this a sign of self-doubt. Obama laid down a lot of expectations for himself and the country when he was elected and I don’t think he can come even close to fulfilling them in just four years. I’m not even sure he can do it in eight years but I’d at least like to see him try. Maybe all he really needs is more time but I need to know that that time is going to be worth it.

The State of the Union has given Americans to reflect upon the past year. We can all take a step back, look at what we’ve done, what we’ve been doing and what we’re going to do. Maybe I missed last week. Maybe this is the turning point of the administration and a new course of action is taken. Maybe I should get on YouTube and actually watch the address. A lot of the fears I feel for the country could be absolved in President Obama’s words. Then again, I’ve heard him say a lot of things and their hold is slowing waning.