Jul 262011
Authors: Justin Rampy

There’s a lot of talk going around (especially on behalf of the right) that our president is a failure, a nincompoop, doesn’t know what he is doing and is ruining the country. People feel that they have been cheated –– but have they?

Despite what you may think, America, you voted for this man, and you knew what he stood for. Of all the U.S. presidential campaigns, Barack Obama’s perhaps promised more than any other candidate in history.

He gave us “hope” –– that same slogan that so many Tea Partiers and far rightists now mock and ridicule.

These promises came at a price: to trust in the executive branch of our government.

Many would say that all of his promises have been broken, slid under the rug or blatantly ignored to the chagrin of the American population. Some have been, but surely this is not the whole story.

President Obama promised us a new health care bill, and it was signed after months of Republicans in Congress being as antagonistic as they could be, slashing down every draft brought before them.

He promised us nuclear non-proliferation, and he did us one better: he signed the new “START” treaty with Russia, reducing the number of nuclear warheads in both countries. It also guarantees U.S. access to Russian launch sites to verify progress.

He kept his promise to remove combat troops from Iraq, as well as the promise to begin training and equipping Afghan military forces. He is also in the process of ending the use of torture as a means of gaining intelligence.

Securing the Mexican border was certainly a selling point in his campaign, and since his inauguration, he has beefed up security on the border. This has led to a 36 percent decrease in apprehensions of illegal aliens. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, this is because fewer people are attempting to enter illegally due to the increased security.

A promise that won him overwhelming support was to ensure new regulations for all of the financial institutions in the country. President Obama signed into law a reform bill that looked nearly identical to the one he outlined in June of 2009.

Major provisions of the law include the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau –– an agency that looks out for the well-being of everyday Americans.

There are many other reformations in the law, which include an official audit of the Federal Reserve, new rules for credit card and credit rating companies. The law has changed the landscape of financial transactions, big or small, for the betterment of the average American.

Lastly, no one could soon forget the President’s promise to eradicate Osama Bin Laden, which of course was achieved through a tireless effort from the government, its generals and the American troops.

It was President Obama’s vow to work with Democrats and Republicans in order to succeed in passing legislation that would ensure better laws and regulations for the American people. He still holds this view and refuses to let party politics get in the way of accomplishing what needs to be accomplished.

We may disagree with the President’s methods (stimulus, universal health care, etc.), and we may not agree with the positions that his party holds, but the important thing to remember is that he is our president for four years –– whether we work together, or against each other.

Time doesn’t stop just because we filibuster efforts in Congress, and the world’s problems will still be there whether we do something about them or not. The “us vs. them” mentality in the legislature gets us nowhere. We’re spinning our wheels until there’s no traction left in them.

I personally would like to see a Congress that works to get things accomplished, rather than fights with each other over who has the correct solution. Politics, the vying for power, should have no place in government once the campaigns are concluded.

Also, I like to see a president who is committed to working with everyone involved. I find it
refreshing to see a president who, if nothing else, tries to fulfill the promises he makes to his citizenry.

Popular opinions aside, make up your own mind about what this president has done and what his presence has meant to our country and our reputation around the world.

You don’t have to agree with the “man,” Congress or even the government, but this is what we have –– and it was you who decided it would be.

Justin Rampy is a sophomore journalism major. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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