At the inauguration of President Barack Obama, millions of people rejoiced together for a new beginning in America. I saw tears, smiles, various expressions reacting to the notion that this new president would bring massive change to political and social realms of this country. “Yes we can!” in unison made manifest the momentum behind the people’s will to lift America from an abyss of corruption, racism, class tension, economic depression, and war. The tainted reputation of the United States would be washed away with Barack Obama leading the “free world”. There were Obama shirts, bumper stickers, hats, scarves, dolls, pins, posters, pens, ring-tones, mugs and more demonstrating the wild frenzy for the election of America’s first black president. During the course of the campaign, people laughed, cried, marched, spoke, wrote and sang for the senator because of the faith they had in his seemingly genuine leadership. I knocked on door after door after door spreading the word on Obama’s plans during the Rhode Island primaries to express my enthusiasm for the progress many people hoped to see. Even with the realization that President Obama was still a politician, I was still optimistic about the changes to come during this new administration.
Today, here and now, almost a year after the inauguration, the idealism and unity that many felt in those days has been overshadowed by pessimism, impatience and disappointment. Many people have grievances towards the new administration, believing that the president has not delivered what he had promised during the campaign. President Obama had strong intentions to lift our economy from ruin through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In this document, he vows that 95% of working families will receive tax cuts, hoping to strengthen the middle class. Because a strong middle class maintains stability in the state, it preserves the status quo. However, as I worked over the summer, canvassing on behalf of the Democratic National Committee, many people that I conversed with about the Obama administration have told me that they have experienced the opposite of what they had anticipated in January. Some say that their taxes have been raised. As the president addresses the various other issues, there seems to be more and more disagreement among the people as to how to go about fixing this country, hence the decreasing amount of Barack Obama paraphernalia.
Though President Barack Obama has accomplished much of he had promised, like creating alliances with other countries, focusing on health care and education reform, I sometimes wonder how and why he does not completely adhere to what he had laid out during his campaign. Does the unwavering establishment, the un-malleable consolidated system, thwart him, somehow? Is he a puppet for this system? Let us wait and see.