In the 2008 election, it was our nation’s chance to elect our first African American as President. It was a strike against the sins of slavery and racism in America’s past and a way to launch our country toward a bright future of racial harmony and progress.
What a difference four years makes! Gone are the lofty goals and the inspired rhetoric. Instead we have the stark reality of a failed presidency. Regarding race relations, the President has not united Americans; he has set them against each other. He ushered in more racial division than any president in recent history. For example, Obama has needlessly inserted himself in controversies such as the Trayvon Martin case and the arrest of Professor Gates in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His Justice Department refused to prosecute club wielding Black Panthers captured on video intimidating voters in Pennsylvania, while his Attorney General had the audacity to lecture the nation about supposed institutionalized racism.
On the important issue of the economy, his stewardship has been horrific. The President has presided over an increase of $5 trillion in our national debt. Throughout his term, there has been a depression in the housing industry, a weak jobs picture and a sky high trade deficit.
This will be the first President ever to be responsible for an overall decline in total employment with an increase in the unemployment rate. While the unemployment rate showed a slight decrease to 8.1% last month, it meant almost nothing since the overall picture is so grim. The last jobs report showed more Americans are leaving the workforce altogether. The labor force participation rate is the lowest rate since December 1981. Almost one million Americans are so discouraged they have stopped looking for work.
On the energy issue, the President speaks constantly of the need for alternative sources of energy. He wants to limit production of fossil fuels and raise taxes on the oil and gas industry. Post BP oil spill, the President limited production in the Gulf of Mexico with his misguided moratorium and a slow, arduous permitting process remains in place even today.
The results are not surprising. While gasoline prices are down a little in the last few weeks, it still costs more than double today at the pump than it did on the day the President was inaugurated.
With these troubles, it is no wonder than the latest Real Clear Politics poll average shows that 60% of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track. Americans have seen the direction the President has taken our country in the past 40 months and it is not something millions of Americans want to experience for another four years.
Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney is not an ideal candidate to oppose Obama, but he does represent at least some sort of improvement over warmed over socialism. It is no surprise that he is leading President Obama in the latest Rasmussen poll by a margin of 49-44%.
Four years ago, Barack Obama was considered a “rock star” by millions of smitten Americans. Today, many of those same people view him as just another politician. Four years ago, he filled a stadium in Ohio with 36,000 screaming fans during a campaign stop. On Saturday, his re-election campaign was launched in front of an Ohio crowd of only 10,000 that barely filled half the seats in the arena.
The President likes to sing Al Green songs in public, anything to capture attention. In this election, many Americans will have the immortal words of the B.B. King classic on their minds when they go to the polls, “The thrill is gone away…..I’m free from your spell, I’m free, free now.”
Finally, the spell is lifted and the real Obama can be seen clearly by the voters.
It is not a pretty sight.
Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at www.ringsidepolitics.com. E-mail him at [email protected]">[email protected].