On the brink of Black History Month and on the day we celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday, our nation swore our first African American president into office for his second term. It could not have happened on a more historic and symbolic day. On a day in which we celebrate a spokesman for civil rights and equality 800,000 women and men of different ethnicities gathered, in full testament and realization of Martin Luther King’s dream. “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
Those words were affixed in the minds of many as President Obama delivered a brilliant speech written by Jon Favreau. For the first time in the history of inaugural speeches an American president addressed the inequality faced by gay men and women. For those that listened to the speech it was one of unification and a bold move in a nation segregated by political policies and pressing issues. It was a moving speech that reiterated that we’re one single country united.
Our president delivered positive words during testing times. However, critics are panning Mr. Obama and his liberal approach. He only mentioned the looming deficit issues only once. While some have attributed this omission as a sign of a president no longer worried about voter opinion, others are predicting that it’ll be addressed during the state-of-the-union message, on February 12th. Paul Krugman of the New York Times praised Mr. Obama’s neglect of the budget deficit, stating, “arguably the most encouraging thing of all was what he didn’t say: He barely mentioned the budget deficit.” We’ve been in turmoil as a nation for the last four years waiting for a budget crisis that hasn’t happened. This is a sign that the experts have been wrong and although our economy has suffered it’d be unfair to compare it to that of Greece.
Looking forward it will be an interesting and grueling four years for our president as gun violence has been highly publicized. The massacre in Colorado when gunmen James Holmes opened fire in a movie theater and the tragic event in Connecticut both put a focal point on the lacking gun purchasing policy in place. Washington is divided on what should be done, but there is no question harsher regulations have to be put in place. It’ll be important that responsible gun owners do not feel attacked by the new laws.
Obama’s tax hikes and spending cuts also need to be justified and the only way that will truly happen is if we see a decreased debt ceiling and a more efficient economy. Analysts are actually agreeing and believe that the tax hikes might actually work to Obama’s favor. Factually the increase in taxes will help GOP budget plans. It will be a challenge to get taxpayers behind the president’s long-term ambitions.
In all it was a triumphant day for a country in desperate need of improvement. Hopefully Mr. Obama can take a more aggressive approach since he will not have to face the voters again.