On the eve of the 6th state of the Union Address of President Obama, I thought i would try to assess his standing and evaluate his performance and in general share my assessment of where he has done well and where he could have done better but more importantly how the US is doing domestically and overseas. I would at the beginning, like to declare that I am a fiercely independent voter with miniscule personal bias that may be perceived as a conflict of interest in grading the sitting president in whose grass roots campaign mega machinery of 2008, I was just a small kog. Nothing is going to come in the way of my objectivity in my assessment, firstly because I was not paid a single shiny penny nor do I value the President more than the country. I did not participate in the 2012 Presidential campaign as I was teaching overseas. In order to begin to assess the presidency of Obama, one needs to understand the state of the Union, the United states was in before he took the oath of office in January 2009. There were 2 nonessential wars, the economy was in shambles, unemployment was too high, retirement investments were at their lowest points, the rest of the world was disgusted by the American adventurism and arrogance, loss of precious fine American men and women in uniform abroad was mounting and becoming intolerable, the deficit/debt was sky high and too big to fail giant mismanaged corporations became beneficiaries of a generous bail out and the trickle down tap of cash flow had ceased to trickle beyond the business leaders of the country. Five years later, January 2014, the Iraq war has ended, American won the war militarily, although the living conditions of the Iraqi people are the worse than they have ever been but that is due to the failure to establish political stability and fair distribution of power to elected representatives. Afghanistan war will come to a close soon but once again , the failure to bring proper and sustainable political stability will mean that the total withdrawal of US troops, although most welcome will seem premature, if the President of Afghanistan is unable to establish a strong force but instead gets over thrown and found executed in the streets of Kabul. Militarily the war in Afghanistan has been won and salute to the commander-in-chief and the entire US armed services who were involved. The economy is on a shaky path but headed in the right direction. The stock market is flourishing right now which means investments are growing significantly into creating jobs and productivity, unemployment has gone down substantially. Besides some fanatical pockets of the world, the opinion of America and Americans has substantially improved. President Obama has traveled extensively and developed personal friendships with world leaders (not withstanding his “selfie”). If everything seems hunky dory why is President Obama’s approval rating been lower in recent months? Obamacare was well intentioned, in a sense, that it is intended to provide universal healthcare to every citizen. The computer glitches are just a trivial problem, a large unknown on the horizon is that it is not going to be affordable to the tax payers and to the small businesses, which were battered by the previous administration and maybe demolished by the current one. One of my hopes when I campaigned for Obama in 2008 in run down parts (not knowing if the next door I was about to knock on a Saturday morning was where a bullet is going to go right through my brain) of the down town areas in the heartland of the USA was that the government firstly will be smaller and will be revamped and reengineered or reconfigured to become more effective and economical at serving the people. Instead we have a massive self-serving over bloated laid back bureaucracy that is draining the tax revenues and mounting the debt. A large number of inefficient government programs that have a poor cost benefit ratio need to be eliminated and the Obama administration has not found the courage to act. Getting back to Obamacare, there was no need to introduce a new law, slight fine tuning of the existing programs and laws could have achieved the goals in a more efficient way and become more exclusive of those in dire need but could not afford the available healthcare. That brings me to my assessment of President Obama. During his presidency, the national debt has doubled and instead of the peace dividends we have more programs to fund and more inefficiency and waste. As a young president, Obama has always been in good health, he and his family are a wonderful role model to spread the virtues of a strong family unit as being central to the success of the nation as a whole. As the first African American President, he is someone to look up to for the African American communities around the country and to emulate his persona and in my humble opinion he and his family can be best be described as “decent” and so can his presidency to date. I have no regrets for throwing my support behind the 2008 election of President Obama but I would like to see in the remaining years of his presidency a more compact and efficient government, a user friendly government for small businesses and a plan to eliminate the debt in the near future and a permanent peace in Syria and between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
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