"Hope & change" was a catchy slogan. Many people heard it and with stars in their eyes went to the polls to vote that "hope & change" into office. Four years later, most feel that they were slighted-- "the hope is gone and the change is nowhere to be found." In spite of this, national and state polls still show President Obama and Governor Romney statistically tied in many places. While some may be content with voting for the person (they believe) they're "familiar" with, I think there are thousands of people who plan to vote for the President without a conclusion as to why they plan to do so. Based on the past four years, the American public must determine what we should expect in a second Obama term.
As we saw in the September jobs report, unemployment went down to 7.8%-- the rate it was when President Obama took office. For forty-three months, unemployment remained above 8%. I don't want to think that the numbers were tampered with; I don't think they could have been. However, while the overall rate went down, the number of people with part-time jobs because they are unable to find full-time work or because their employer cut their hours rose in September-- it went from 8 million in August to 8.6 million in September. It won't be surprising if the number also goes down in the next jobs report (only days before the election); part-time work is increasing due to lack of full-time jobs, and part-time workers are counted as employed (and with the holidays approaching, stores and companies will be hiring more part-time workers). President Obama crows about a "comprehensive" jobs plan that will boost the economy and create much-needed jobs-- why, if he claims to have a solution to the unemployment problem, has he not already begun it? He's waiting so he can use the plan as a tool for re-election. The President should be more concerned with the state of the country than the state of his re-election campaign, and President Obama has simply failed to measure up in that area. Why should we believe he'll actually bring unemployment down in a second term if he has continually failed to do so in his first?
The national debt didn't reach $1 trillion until 1980. Today it stands at just over $16 trillion. In 2008 it was $10 trillion-- an increase of $6 trillion dollars under President Obama. Liberals try to push this point aside and say, "All the modern Presidents spent more money than was necessary" and "It's not Obama's fault that the debt has risen so much." The truth is that it took two-hundred-four years for our debt to reach $1 trillion dollars; there is obviously an issue if it can be increased six-fold in only four years (President Bush only increased it $5 trillion in eight years). Government spending has catapulted into a massive, unnecessary, reckless habit that the bigwigs in the White House refuse to rectify. If President Obama has a serious plan to reduce the debt, he has failed to reveal it; in addition, we should expect that he would have implemented and begun to run this program prior to this-- refuse to let it ever reach $16 trillion. Why should we expect anything but more mounting debt in a second Obama term? The future of this country is literally being spent away by shopaholics in Washington, and President Obama is a card-carrying member of the club.
President Reagan summed up his foreign policy with this statement: "We win, they lose." President Obama's seems to be this: "We win if they let us." After four years of threats and "talks," President Obama and his State Department are still sitting at the negotiating table, waiting for Iran to pause in building their nuclear weapon and come to talk. Talking doesn't work with people whose proclaimed mission is to destroy America and Israel; it takes force to deal with people like that, yet President Obama seems to be trigger-shy when it comes to protecting the United States. Our Embassies in the Middle East were successfully attacked on the anniversary of 9/11 and President Obama has yet to take any action other than words to condemn the attacks. The countries that attacked us are still receiving foreign aid that we could be using here at home. Did any terrorist attacks occur on the anniversaries of 9/11 under President Bush? The answer comes from the fact that America's strength was displayed proudly under President Bush, rather than hidden under a carpet as it has been for the past four years. I'm tired of seeing pictures of the President of my country bowing to Saudi kings and welcoming outspoken "haters" of America-- I want a President who isn't ashamed to protect this country at all costs. President Obama has failed on numerous occasions to do so and has failed to give any indication of a new strategy in a second term.
An issue that has yet to solidly come up in this campaign season is Operation Fast & Furious-- the failed gun sting that resulted in the murder of two U.S. border patrol agents and hundreds of innocent Mexicans. The United States government was willingly placing weapons into the hands of Mexican drug cartels and silencing anyone inside the ATF or Justice Department who realized the error and attempted to solve it. President Obama's administration is responsible for this program; they directly lied to the American people and did everything in their power to keep the program a secret from the public (that's a surprising move from "the most open and transparent adminstration in history"). Solyndra is another example of this administration using taxpayer money to appease campaign allies; Solyndra failed miserably and that funding was lost. We can't afford a government that is willing to keep such programs under wraps from the public-- we should know what taxpayer money is funding and what programs are being carried out. Why should we believe that other programs such as this aren't occurring even now, and will continue to in a second Obama term?
When voting in an election that includes an incumbent President, the question is whether or not that incumbent has performed up to the level that is expected of an American President. I could continue this list of reasons President Obama has not performed to that level-- his disrespect for human life, apparent dislike for small businesses and the people who run them, refusal to allow American drilling for our own oil, the decrease in the average family's income, the countless broken campaign promises-- this post is just a sample. It's hard to get worse than these statistics and situations. We need a President who has experience in problem-solving, and a community organizer was never the answer. It's time to rectify the mistake we made in 2008 and improve the dismal "hope & change" that we received. What we should expect in a second Obama term is more of the same: reckless spending, decrease in respect, rising unemployment, exploding national debt, and more of the problems we have encountered. Don't believe for a moment that President Obama really has plans to improve the situation in a second term-- if he did, he should have (and most likely would have) implemented them long ago. Real "hope & change" will only occur with a new President in the White House.