Sunday, April 25, 2010

It’s about time Americans took pride in their president

Astonishingly, there are folks still questioning Barack Obama’s credentials to be President of the United States, saying he is not a citizen because there is no valid proof of his place of birth.

People continue to say they know nothing about President Obama, when everyone from the Justice Department to Fox News and beyond has vetted him thoroughly and repeatedly. To an extent, I do understand why, and that has a lot to do with the color of his skin, no matter how many times some feel obliged to deny that. I have no other reasonable answer for the persistent pursuit for answers that have repeatedly been provided, or the visceral directed toward this man.

People even wish or pray for his death. I believe he has more threats against him and his family’s life than any other U.S. President in history.

A while ago, Facebook had an online survey asking if President Obama should be killed. The page had more than 950,000 users. The steady stream of comments on the page's wall showed a relatively active membership. Even though that page has been removed, the sentiment is still there.

Americans say that President Obama’s legislative agenda does not represent what the majority of Americans expected. This, for example, even though he spoke in the campaign of the need for universal healthcare and that he would prioritize it if he were elected.

Evidently, Americans cannot see the forest for the trees. Their optics are far different from the rest of the world:

For as the Nobel Peace Prize committee said in awarding President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize that it, as written in the Huffington Post, “could be seen as an early vote of confidence intended to build global support for the policies of his young administration. They lauded the change in global mood wrought by Obama's calls for peace and cooperation, and praised his pledges to reduce the world stock of nuclear arms, ease U.S. conflicts with Muslim nations and strengthen its role in combating climate change.”

And as reported in a Truthdig article, The World Prefers Obama’s America, “a new international survey by the British Broadcasting Co. reveals that views of the U.S. around the world ‘improved sharply’ during the first year of the Obama presidency, with positive opinion outweighing negative for the first time since 2005, when the BBC first polled this question. As approval ratings for Barack Obama decline at home, world opinion of the United States is rising steadily under his stewardship.”

In the opinion of Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN’s GPS, despite exaggerations, the fact is the U.S. economy has made a broad-based recovery: exports, manufacturing, and the stock market are all up, retail sales are getting stronger, and employment is rising. President Obama’s actions stabilized an economy that was on a free-fall into the abyss, and the bank bailout ended up costing the taxpayer less than any previous bailout of the financial system over the last 30 to 40 years. Under his leadership, countries have stepped forward to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and nuclear materials.

Public opinion polls of his policies just don’t match the facts. Despite some fairly formidable obstacles, this president has accomplished a lot in a year and three months. It’s about time Americans joined the rest of the world and come to grips with that fact. The United States has significantly overcome the failures of George W Bush and his administration. It’s about time America took pride in their president. And, for those who have been looking for change, it is evident there has been extraordinary change.a