Democracy is generally understood to be the voice of the people in the governance of a nation. In this ‘rule of the people,’ the common folks have the power to control their own policies, that is, how they want to be ruled; and the elected leaders of the people are required to apply reason when listening to the voice of the people in planning and decision making. President George W. Bush was often blamed for refusing to listen to the voice of the people. He took America to two wars, thereby disturbing world peace.
Following the Iraq War, he continued to consider taking aggressive action against foreign peoples that he believed to be enemies of the United States. , e. g. the Iranians. What is more, the Americans remained adamant about criticizing his foreign policy in particular. Yet, he did not always pursue the interests of the American people. Because democracy is good, and President Bush did not follow its fundamental principle, that is, listening to the voice of the people – he was not a good president. In fact, the American government seemed to have turned its back on democracy during the presidency of George W.
Bush. The conflict in Iraq consumed a huge part of the U. S. budget. This issue remained as a matter of contention between the United States government and the people of America for several years. According to a CBS News Poll conducted in 2007, two-thirds of the Americans believed that violence in Iraq may be beyond the U. S. military’s ability to manage, and only 25 percent believed that the U. S. military could be helpful in reducing violence. Moreover, 63 percent of Americans disapproved of the president’s plan to send more troops into Iraq (“Poll: Most Doubt Iraq Peace, Iran Threat,” 2007).
Seeing that the American people were the ultimate beneficiaries of peace through the end of the conflict in Iraq, and it was their tax money that the Bush government was expending on troops; it would have been appropriate for the president to withdraw U. S. troops from Iraq when the majority of Americans were asking for it. By withdrawing its troops from Iraq, the United States would have released the finances that were tied up for troop buildup in the foreign country. Those funds, once released, should have been used by the government in solving the health care crisis facing America.
Unfortunately, however, the Bush government did not take a wise stance to resolve the health care issues facing America. Furthermore, the Bush government left America in dire straits as far as economic conditions are concerned. Current President Barack Obama Americans had been asked even before the presidential elections of 2008 about issues that may influence their votes. The majority of prospective voters, that is, eighty-seven percent of those that had participated in the research, had indicated that the deteriorating state of the U.
S. economy would definitely influence their votes. The second most important issue happened to be energy, backed by seventy-seven percent of the research participants (“More Americans Question Religion’s Role In Politics,” 2008). Unsurprisingly, President Barack Obama had indicated before the elections that his Number One priority in the office of president of the United States would be to “build a new alternative-energy economy,” combining the two dominant issues in the minds of the prospective voters (Klein, 2008).
For the reason that Barack Obama knew the mind of America and agreed with it one hundred percent, he is sure to be a friend of democracy and an improvement over George W. Bush. Once it was determined that Barack Obama would, indeed, assume the role of U. S. president, that is, a manager of the prosperity of the nation, voters in the presidential election 2008 were asked about the dominant issue to have influenced their votes. The response was not quite different. The feeble state of the U. S. economy was declared the most important issue to have influenced American votes for the new president.
In fact, at least six out of ten voters participating in the research reported that the economic recession of 2008 is the most significant problem facing America (“Inside Obama’s Sweeping Victory,” 2008). To put it another way, Barack Obama was seen as most capable of handling the financial crisis facing the nation. Based on the principles of democracy, because Americans understand how their country must be managed, they must be judged as correct in their belief that President Obama would, indeed, help America out of the economic crisis. Obama Looks Better in History Books Hundred Years from Now
Philip Elliott writes that “Barack Obama tapped into Ohio voters’ fears about the economy and their desire for change” (Elliott, 2008). Ohio was, of course, an important state for the election of George W. Bush. They had backed him because of the values they believed he personified. This time they backed Barack Obama because of the financial crisis facing the country (Elliott). Barack Obama was promising change to America. Nathan Gonzales of the Rotherberg Political Report states that “the American electorate was really primed for change” (Young, 2008).
Bill Clinton and Al Gore had entered the White House with a program for economic renewal (Conason, 2008). As the leader of their Democratic Party now, President Obama is expected to continue their legacy and help America retrieve its prosperity. Joe Conason writes that economic programs created by the Democrats usually succeed in promoting economic growth because they tend to “distribute national wealth more widely than the Republican tradition of trickle-down” (Conason). This is backed by statistics, according to the author.
Thus, Americans are expecting Barack Obama to somehow turn the current economic recession into economic growth. Once President Obama has succeeded in achieving this goal for America, he will be recognized as an American hero – a designation that was historically reserved for the whites alone. Moreover, being the first black president in the White House, President Obama is sure to work smarter not only to live up to American expectations but also to reverse the damages inflicted upon the country by the theory of racism. Bush may be compared to his father, if not the other white presidents of the United States.
But, Obama is truly unique. In history books written hundred years from now, it is Obama’s name that will be remembered with greater fondness. Unlike Bush, the new president of the United States will provide relief to America from distress. He brings change, after all. Bush, on the contrary, had brought distress. This is the main reason why John McCain, despite his strong background in politics, was not chosen as America’s darling in the presidential election 2008. He reminded the Americans of George W. Bush (Young). References Conason, J. (2008, Dec 3). Obama’s Winning Argument.
Salon. Retrieved Mar 21, 2009, from http://www. salon. com/opinion/conason/2008/11/01/obama_closing_argument/. Elliot, P. (2008, Nov 5). Obama Rides Economic Worries to Victory in Ohio. USA Today. Retrieved Mar 21, 2009, from http://www. usatoday. com/news/politics/2008-11-04-2264020452_x. htm. Inside Obama’s Sweeping Victory. (2008, Nov 5). The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Retrieved Mar 21, 2009, from http://pewresearch. org/pubs/1023/exit-poll-analysis-2008. Klein, J. (2008, Oct 22). Why Barack Obama is Winning. Time. Retrieved Mar 21, 2009, from http://www. time.
com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1853025-1,00. html. More Americans Question Religion’s Role In Politics. (2008, Aug 21). The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Retrieved Mar 21, 2009, from http://people-press. org/report/? pageid=1364. Poll: Most Doubt Iraq Peace, Iran Threat. (2007, Feb 12). CBS News. Retrieved Mar 21, 2009, from http://www. cbsnews. com/stories/2007/02/12/opinion/polls/main2464626. shtml. Young, J. (2008, Nov 6). Obama Victory Reflects Solid Campaign, Shaky Economy. VOA News. Retrieved Mar 21, 2009, from http://www. voanews. com/english/2008-11-06-voa18. cfm.
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