Did you vote for Barack Obama in 2008? A lot of people did – obviously.
What a time. There’s still room for improvement, but what a testimony to just how far we as a nation have come in terms of racial harmony, tolerance and diversity.
That we could elect an African-American to lead the free world is indeed a very good thing.
We just happened to elect the wrong African-American.
In life, we sometimes find that the idea of a thing is far better than the thing itself. As a boy, I once ordered, from a comic book, a pair of X-ray glasses. The two weeks it took for the glasses to arrive seemed like an eternity.
Once they arrived, I ripped into the package and put them on. As I quickly discovered, the glasses merely formed a halo effect around objects, creating the illusion of transparency. I got took.
Obama’s presidency has been a halo effect. Like I did so many years ago, in 2008 America fell victim to false advertising. As the past four years have demonstrated, the idea of President Obama was far better than the reality of President Obama. We were promised the world, but we were sold an illusion. We got took.
Indeed, during the 2008 campaign, a then-Sen. Obama promised us that, if elected, we would look back upon the moment he took office and “tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth.”
That was the idea of President Obama. That was what many good, well-meaning people voted for. That was the hope offered and the change promised.
That was not what we got.
During the second presidential debate, Mitt Romney, in response to Obama’s attempts to gloss over his mounting leadership failures, summarized a few of the big ones. While addressing an audience member who, perhaps like you, voted for Obama in 2008, Romney observed, in part, the following:
“I think you know these last four years haven’t been so good as the president just described and that you don’t feel like you’re confident that the next four years are going to be much better either. …
“He said that, by now, we’d have unemployment at 5.4 percent. The difference between where it is and 5.4 percent is 9 million Americans without work. …
“He said he would have, by now, put forward a plan to reform Medicare and Social Security, because he pointed out they’re on the road to bankruptcy. He would reform them. ... He hasn’t even made a proposal on either one.
“He said in his first year he’d put out an immigration plan that would deal with our immigration challenges. Didn’t even file it.
“This is a president who has not been able to do what he said he’d do. He said that he’d cut in half the deficit. He hasn’t done that either. In fact, he doubled it.
“He said that by now middle-income families would have a reduction in their health insurance premiums by $2,500 a year. It’s gone up by $2,500 a year. And if Obamacare is … implemented fully, it’ll be another $2,500. …
“The middle class is getting crushed under the policies of a president who has not understood what it takes to get the economy working again. …
“There are more people in poverty, one out of six people in poverty.
“How about food stamps? When he took office, 32 million people were on food stamps. Today, 47 million people are on food stamps. How about the growth of the economy? It’s growing more slowly this year than last year – and more slowly last year than the year before. …
“The president has tried, but his policies haven’t worked.”
Recently, my wife and I attended an outdoor festival in Virginia. Although the event was not political, there were people from both the Obama and Romney camps handing out campaign stickers. I suspect that if a poll were taken, liberals out-numbered conservatives by about two to one.
Yet while we saw dozens of people wearing Romney stickers, we only saw one man wearing an Obama sticker.
We walked up to a fellow with a gray pony tail wearing a Romney sticker.
“Mind if I ask why you’re voting for Mitt Romney?” I asked.
His reply was short and to the point: “Because I refuse to be that stupid twice.”
Changing one’s mind doesn’t always reveal a tendency toward indecision. Sometimes, changing one’s mind reveals a tendency toward wisdom.
(Matt Barber is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. He serves as vice president of Liberty Counsel Action.)