Nope, didn’t do it. That’s right, I didn’t watch the President’s State of the Union address tonight. I guess it is safe to say that I feel disenfranchised from American politics at the moment. I mean it’s been a really tough year. A year where a lot of latent racial tension has boiled to the surface. A year of economic stability compared to anything in the Bush era, but mediocrity in general. But overall, it was a year of unfilled promise. Not just in this calendar year…but also on my behalf, a realization of “Oh wait, did I just take a sip of that Kool-Aid?” sort of thing.
However before I get on the roll with a rant here, I do want to say that I am proud of President Obama. I’m proud of what he stands for, and the awe inspiring achievements that he has made, both for himself and this country. No one is perfect, and this includes American presidents. I say what I say and feel what I feel within the limits of utmost respect for this country’s first Black President. One of the most powerful leaders in the world at that.
Additionally, it’s not all on President Obama anyway. Let me back-peddle a bit. A few days ago I wrote a piece over on the Daily Kos about Black political conservatives. I put a lot of thought into it, and was pretty proud of the result. But it somehow failed to compel any discussions or comments. I’m not taking it personally. However I think it’s a missed opportunity for liberals/progressives to even consider what over there on the other side of the fence. To understand more about the opinions, beliefs and priorities of American conservatives. And then from there, we can begin to say why we feel the need to do things differently.
This is where President Obama, and today’s Democratic Party frustrates me. You hear a lot of rhetoric. Liberal causes and issues are media darlings right now (i.e. same-sex marriage, marijuana legalization, healthcare reform, etc.). Yet the devil is in the details so to speak. Meaning, to much attention is being given to soundbites, and not enough to the actions in question.
Here are just some of the disappointments that I’ve had to come to terms with since President Obama has taken office:
- Failure to curb the questionable NSA surveillance initiatives of private American citizens, in spite of his stance to stand up to them during the campaign period.
- Too many concessions given to pass the Affordable Care Act, including the loss of the ability to use health savings and flexible spending plans for over the counter health supplies.
- A very wishy-washy stance on marijuana legalization. Also for some reason the Democrats are backing the tobacco companies in regards to regulating and taxing the e-cigarette industry. While Rep. Boehner supports keeping the FDA off of the e-cigarette industry’s back.
- Support for Israel could be stronger (although this is an ongoing struggle for the Democrats it seems)
Overall it’s pretty clear that POTUS is a progressive who doesn’t want to rock the boat. It has been a real struggle to see if he’ll go against the grain. While the President is tenacious about tasks he set out to do, it seems as if the ‘tasks’ are ones that safe ones. Ones that include a lot of compromise and unclarity regarding the concessions given in order to accomplish them.
So I took the I Side With quiz yet again. My result: 79% Green Party. I believe this is a similar result to what I received before. However it is not as enlightening as I would like it to be. Our current political reality is that the United States is still very much a two party government. Many times I feel as if I’m voting for the lesser of two evils; or two very misguided extremes. No in 2015, I’m going to take a break from putting hope in political leaders, and try to see if I can put hope in regular people. People who don’t care about soundbites, and who don’t make each move with heavy consideration of who they will and who they will not alienate. I’m ready for someone bold. Perhaps the time is ripe for a Martin Luther King, Jr. for a new generation?