The era of the Obama Administration will go down as one of the most decisive and divisive eras in our history. Throughout Obama’s presidency, we have seen fundamental disagreements from the right and left clash ruthlessly, and it seems that the socio-political lines have been drawn even deeper.
Recent buzz topics have been mostly centered around guns, which is not as simple as most issues that seem to come down to partisan opinions.
Obama has had a lot on his plate and it seems to challenge his idealism at times. This coupled with the right wing’s seemingly obstructionist tactics in Congress has made Obama’s presidency grueling. Leftists even have a few words to say that are critical of Obama – they adamantly oppose Obama’s approaches to military action and foreign interventionism. This is one of the things that Obama actually draws some harsh criticism from on the left.
But despite the political turbulence of Obama’s presidency, he joins only a handful of presidents in our history who have won the popular vote count both terms, which is a pretty rare exception and an indication that Obama’s teeter-tottering popularity has seemed to prevail.
Despite the fact that many Americans are discontent with social divisions and economic unrest, it seems they understand what is at stake for the standard of their living.
They are starting to realize their social programs are at stake. They are starting to realize their health care is at stake as well as their kid’s public education.
Women are even realizing that they can finally challenge traditional and often oppressive gender roles that have been longstanding in America and have even begun to fight for their bodies, being militant and bold in their principles and aims.
The ideological lines that have been drawn were talked about in Obama’s speech. As he tackled the buzz topics, he began to articulate his vision and goals for the future, seemingly trying to be careful not to patronize in a time of political division.
His inaugural speech drew heavy criticism from the right (as usual) who seemed to sense a controlling tone from Obama. Pundits on Fox News assumed that Obama’s speech was a “my way or the highway” lecture.
It seems conservatives are worried that their influence is falling and division in the party is wearing them out, which it is. They do not seem to like when Obama does anything at this point and seem to show no compromise, even when anticipated that a “deal” may be on the table which would most likely be a compromise that the working class would bear.
Obama did indeed put his foot down with this speech, both in addressing his aims and his ideological principles. The highlight of his speech was when he challenged the conservative notion that social programs take away initiative and make us weaker as a people. He rejected this saying that it not only strengthens us, but is part of what makes us great. I think this resonates in a positive way to many as polls have shown in recent months.
In this part of the speech, Obama shows his slightly collectivist, family-oriented vision for America. He wants our nation to have “each other’s back” so to speak. I think that this in comparison to the unofficial conservative slogan wins for clear reasons. “You’re on your own” just doesn’t sound right anymore and it’s amazing that it has ever been sold to the public as proactive, wise or humane.