Wednesday, July 28, 2010

On Being Angry at the President for Not Being Bolder

A lot of progressive people who voted for Obama in 2008 have been expressing anger about him not being more bold in his presidency. Its understandably frustrating that we worked so hard to elect this candidate, and we believed so strongly in ideas like the Public Option, that we feel let down when it doesn't happen 100% the way we think it should.

Its frustrating because we know deep down that if we could just implement strong progressive policies, we could solve *so* many problems. We could prosper as a nation. We could even save money.

But we are pitted in an ideological battle that has been going on in America since its founding. It predates Barack Obama. And I think we must keep this in mind as we roll up to the November 2010 Mid-term elections.

Remember, when the candidate Obama told us that the work couldn't end in the election - that even after the election he would need our help - and our party would need our help - during what would be a long hard fight to bring change?

Personally, I was under no illusions about Obama when I voted for him: I knew I was voting for someone who I believed would act from the goodness of his heart and the strength of his intellect when given the enormous and *conflicted* job of President. That whatever faced in inside that Oval Office, he would do the best he could given the circumstances.

And so he went - into that bubble we call the American Presidency. And he is counting on us out here to both support him and keep him on the straight and narrow.

The question then becomes for me: when you feel that anger, when you feel that the president is not acting as bold as he should, what do you do with it?

I strongly believe we should channel that energy into finding ways we can positively support the President and our party, while *persuading* them at the same time.

Finding hope in the candidate who we sent to the White House was not that tough; but bringing *change* well that consists of much a harder and imperfect kind of work.

Democracy is messy. And if we squander this opportunity - if we allow our party to fracture in anger - then we will lose what little toehold we have gained, and the republicans will take us back to the miserable days of Goerge Bush and Dick Cheney.

We cannot allow that to happen. We've already passed some of the most historic reforms in a generation - and we have made the largest ever investment producing a Green Economy with the stimulus. These are changes we should cherish. Can you imagine the chances of these things passing under Republican leadership? Other presidents have tried for decades and failed.

So. How do we channel that energy into ways to support our party and increase voter turnout in November? Because if we don't do that, any hope we did once have, will surely never come to be.

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