Many believed that President Obama would be “the cure”. He promised as much in his books and during the 2008 campaign… a new beginning. When he was elected he enjoyed a +28% approval index (positive minus negative). Then it became obvious that his speeches were merely “words filled with sound of fury signifying nothing”. He proved to be a politician, just like all the rest… more concerned with his re-election than leadership in any meaningful manner. That is why his approval index has fallen to -22% a differential of- 50%.
As for the Republican candidates, none appear capable of reaching beyond their philosophical perspective to recognize the needs of all Americans. They seem unable to tailor a direction capable of bridging the gap between the disparate elements that make up our fine country.
The present political leaders of both parties are more willing to divide us into interest groups for election purposes than in finding common ground to heal our wounds and forge us into a powerful nation. Booker T. Washington once used the metaphor of separate fingers working together as a working hand. Our differences are large, but they can be overcome if we work together.
I, for one, seek leadership beyond what is being offered by either party. America needs someone with a broad appeal, true strength of character, and an ability to gain the trust of the American people. Someone who can deliver the harsh message we all must digest and can encourage us to make the difficult sacrifices needed if we ever hope to overcome our difficulties and regain our national standing. A true independent not committed to the extreme elements of either political party.
Perhaps that is the greatest damage President Obama has done. His words did fill that void in 2008. He promised to elevate the discussion above partisanship, he electrified the electorate, and had vast numbers of people who had never participated in government before play a role. But when he broke faith and became nothing more than an empty suit who merely repackaged 1970s “liberalism” under the new label of “Progressivism.”.
It should come as no surprise that his poll numbers are crashing. Why young people who formed the foundation of his political juggernaut are now apathetic. Why so many believe the nation is heading in the wrong direction.
Hopefully, his betrayal of faith has not done lasting damage. Hopefully, some person can once again step forward, electrify the public, instill confidence, and win support for a new course of action. The great fear, however, is this. Are people willing to believe again? As the poet John Donne once said: “Trust, like the soul, once gone never returns.”
America faces many challenges. None are as extreme as the Great Depression, World War II, or the Cold War. But they are significant enough to divide our nation further and foster domestic turbulence unless legitimate leadership comes to the fore.
Like most Americans, I wait…but worry. Can anyone who represents the great middle of America survive the vitriolic campaign process that so polarizes our nation today?
by Ron Chapman
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