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Last Tuesday the most recently elected president of The United States gave a speech at the Democratic National Covention, reflecting on the last four years of his presidency and expressing hopes for the future. The reasons for the enthusiastic cheering of the crowd could be manifold; was it for joyful certainty the president will help the US become the best it can be? Was it in faith he will bring the country through to certain victory after recession? Or was it because of love of the man himself? History shows few positive changes for the US since Obama’s leadership. He spoke about maintaining hope ‘in the face of uncertainty’ however and the need for common effort and exportation which would strengthen the power of the United States. Obama promised it is a positive time for the US and suggested plans to expand the economy through increased export and less outsourcing of jobs. But what does the renewed presidency of Obama for the next four years actually mean for the US?
History would suggest Obama has been a strongly supported leader, going on to win himself the votes of 26 states out of the 50 in America and 50.6 percent of the votes, although he is not necessarily one who makes all the wisest decisions economically. The US still has the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world, with a per capita GDP of $48,100 although it has taken a significant downturn in the last three years with GDP contracting, creating the deepest and longest dip since the Great Depression. This could be the result of Obama’s predecessors however his the nature of his up and coming policies warrant question. Raising tax rates on upper income earners reduces their incentive to work and take risks, threatening small businesses and taxing dividends received and capital gains earned could cause benefits to be outweighed by the risks of setting up small businesses, leading to a reduction of growth in the economy. Obama talks about a future of ‘common effort and shared responsibility’ as the way forward for the economy however economic upturn is yet to be seen particularly for states such as Michigan with an all time-high unemployment rate of 16%.
Obama’s presidency could cause US domestic policy to become increasingly liberal. Obama’s policy decisions have gradually come more and more against Christian beliefs reflecting a different style than those made by presidents previously. This could be too much too soon for the people of the US, particularly as levels of support for Obama are already low in inland states. Decisions involving families in society have lead people to question Obama’s choices more and more and challenge the motivation behind his policy amendment proposals, and also present opposition to the values represented by those who founded the United States. This choice shows Obama may be interested in seeking popularity insofar as to change policy to being contrary to his beliefs to please the majority. Alternatively it could show that he would prefer to sacrifice his beliefs to gain favour with some of the electorate. Obama has also agreed to a new ‘pro-choice’ route on abortion, whilst Romney would have disagreed. This decision could have dramatic consequences on culture and the future relationship of families. Some argue Romney would have been the better choice morally as a president, despite not holding the same spiritual beliefs as Christians.
Whilst it is clear that Obama is popular because of agreeing to such changes it is important to question his motives. Does he really agree with these choices or is he willing to sacrifice standards for self-promotion? This is always a dangerous political game. His views in relation to Palestine suggests does not make decisions for popularity; the non-mainstream news shows Palestinians continue to be terrorized by air strikes hitting the Gaza strip with agreement from Obama whilst this is not a popular campaign with many. On the other hand, Obama favours moving out of Iraq which could have negative consequences on the work towards creating democracy in the Middle East.
In conclusion Obama has been trying to connect and give a message that resonates with the majority of US citizens so he could be voted in as the leader of the United States, but we have yet to see how this outplays in domestic, economic and foreign policy, and it could be the same outcome with Romney. Now the task is to wait to see what Obama’s leadership unfolds for the economy and policy at home and in the rest of the world and to see whether he will be worth being voted in for another four years.