Hail to President Barack Obama By John M. Williams
History was certainly made when Barack Hussein Obama, a caucasian/African American, was elected President of the United States on November 4. Th campaign had been historic. For example, New York Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton had come close to becoming the first woman serious candidate for president of the United States. Alaskan Republican Governor Sarah Palin was chosen to be Arizonan Republican presidential candidate John McCain's running mate.
Against nearly insurmountable odds Illinois Democratic Senator Obama beat the Clintons and the Republican war/character assasination machine. His brilliantly managed campaign out maneuvered, out campaigned and out spent his rivals. The Senator showed his steel and discipline throughout the campaign.
Obama's vcitory surprised me as much as it did the world. While I was certain he would win, I did not think his victory margin would be as huge as it was. I thought the Bradley effect would produce a smaller victory in the popular vote and the electoral vote. I believed wrongly that the nation was not mature enough to elect overwhelmingly a Caucasian/African American. Score a minus for me.
Obama's victory continued the Democratic tradition of inclusiveness. Between 1932-1944, the country elected Franklin D. Roosevelt who used a wheelchair. In 1984, the Democrats selected Gerardine Ferraro as their vice presidential candidate. In 2008, the country elected Barack Hussein Obama. It would not surprise me in 2016 to see a woman and a Hispanic be at the top of the Democratic ticket. One of the two people could even be Jewish. A Jewish president is a definite and he or she will be a Democrat. One of the two people could have a disability.
There are winners and losers in this election. The winners are Barack Obama and the American people. President elect Obama brings a new governing philosophy to the White House. He will be far more bipartisan that his predecessor. He will govern from the center. He believes himself to be president of all the people and not just the right. He believes America is a country for all of its citizens and not just the rich. He is pro-union. He respects the dignity of all workers. He is open-minded. He is pro education. He wants to live in a country that leads in ensuring that its citizens have clean water, air and land. He wants to make us energy independent. He wants to rebuild the infrastructure in this country. He wants America to work with foreign governments on critical national and international issues. He wants to create jobs, jobs, jobs. He wants all Americans to have access to affordable and portable health care. He wants to end the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan. He wants to look out for mainstreet as well as Wall Street.
The American people -- poor and middle class -- know they have a president who is interested in their welfare, and they feel good about him and his ideals. He has to deliver on his promises to cut their taxes, to create jobs, to form unions, to end gridlock in Congress, to reduce polluion, and to improve their quality of life. He will have battles in front of him. For example, the noney grubbing people running the health care industry will fight his proposals that cut into their huge profits. They will fight him on not wanting to cover pre-existing conditions. The people must rally behind President Obama. I am certain that he will rally them.
The loser is President George Bush. His governing philosophy and incomptetency have been soundly repudiated by most Americans. Karl Rove's rancous, divisive, partisan, governing philosophy of 51 percent is discredited and so is the Republican Party and the conservative philosophy that unregulated business is the solution to all problems. The business community is a huge loser. Where are the business leaders who allowed the business melt down to happen? They have their grubby hands extended to the federal government looking for bailout money. Their salaries should be cut to $50,000 a year or they should be fired without any compensation. No more needs to be said.
President Obama and the U.S. Congress have a huge task before them. They will need to pass a stimulus package and put in place other tools needed to rebuild the econony and confidence in the country. Obama must use his oratorical skills to persuade the country to follow him.
As the country climbs out of its economic slump, people with disabilities must be included. They must shout the loudest and the longest to be included. Where training is necessary, they must be trained. Where higher education is reuqired, they must be educated. Where assistive technology is necessary for education, they must have access to it. When the community leaders meet to deal with community issues, they must be presented and they must lead. They must show the country their abilities.