*The essence of being President of the United States is having the most powerful position in the world but understanding that no one will ever be totally satisfied with how you use it.
Conservatives complain because of the liberal agenda that Obama pursues. This makes sense Conservatives generally long for the laissez-faire days of Reaganomics and therefore naturally oppose the tighter regulations on the financial sector recently imposed by the Obama administration.
Liberals complain about the speed with which, or the emphasis on a particular portion of Obama’s liberal agenda. This makes much less sense.
Obama as a presidential candidate pledged to push for certain changes in American society. But all campaign promises assume no concurrent or conflicting interests; all these promises are made in a vacuum. This is how a campaign promise to end the American military presence in Iraq 16 months after election, which sounds great in theory, translates to the reality of American troops still there 2 years later.
Likewise, leading up to the 2008 election Obama pledged to use the influence of the Presidency to urge states to end discriminatory practices toward homosexuals. Assuming there are no other issues to address within American society, the citizenship privileges of homosexual Americans would be a top priority. But when there are other issues, and when President Obama has pledged to address sustainable energy sources, a global economic panic, and healthcare reform all while the American armed forces are engaged in two overseas conflicts, ensuring fair adoption practices cannot be said to be a priority on the same scale.
This does not absolve Obama and his administration; he ought to reminded of what he said he would accomplish. But liberal ought to temper their critiques by an understanding of priority and perspective.
The delay in the termination of the military mission in Southwest Asia can and should be attribute to the more global perspective afforded President Obama in relation to Senator Obama. Similarly, an end to discrimination against homosexuals was/is important, just not as important as healthcare reform.
At the end of the day Obama is a politician which means he is exceptionally good at compromising to accomplish what he believes to be in the best interest of the majority. That does not mean he will not keep his promises, it simply means he cannot keep them all at once. And if the recent repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is any indication, President Obama is beginning to get back to those campaign promises.
Trevor Brookins is a free lance writer in Rockland County, New York. He is currently working on a book about American culture during the Cold War. You can reach him at [email protected]