Essay Non-Fiction posted September 18, 2010

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Obama's America

by Spiritual Echo

Obama's Presidency Contest Winner 
When John F. Kennedy became the president of the United States, the roar of approval from hopeful, previously apathetic, young voters was drowned out by the roar of fundamentalists, who swore that they would never serve a Catholic president.

JFK became a rock star in politics and likely pivoted future generations to pay closer attention to their country. Young Americans shifted from their mantra of free love to adulation of a new leader.

Today, these hopefuls are applying for their pensions and they likely remember Kennedy more for his affairs, than the famous words, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."

Americans elected their first African-American president.

From within America, there was a surge of emotion. Old bigotries, charred emotions, hate and slander surfaced and was largely ignored by the world. They continued, thinking the world was still sane. In our world, only fifteen percent of us are white. Obama's color was never a consideration globally.

His credibility as a world leader is unquestionable. People listen when this man stands to speak. His magnetism and ability to impress the world with passion and sincerity, his uncanny ability to rise at the G20 conference and wear the power of his office gently on his shoulders, did not go unnoticed by the International press. The average American displays little interest in world news and most of the media honor that apathy by keeping International reporting to a bare minimum. Obama was honored in every headline.

In the twilight of Obama's announcement about the end of the Iraqi initiative, there was a collective sigh from world nations. It was an inconsequential war, after all, the killing will continue, there will be no winners, no victory march, but somehow Obama brought the boys home without sacrificing thousands more and managed to orchestrate this maneuver with dignity.

According to an email I received from the Whitehouse, there are provisions in place to deal with medical issues for all veterans. An expected 300,000 soldiers will be eligible for education grants and hopefully they will avail themselves of an option to find a new path in a country that continues to grow and evolve.

Internally, there is a raging debate over health care.

While we applaud Obama's commitment to deal honorably with veterans, we argue about the same rights for our neighbors. The very poor are protected by Medicaid. But Charlie, the guy down the street, well he lost his house last year when his wife got cancer. He could barely afford the most basic oncology care. He belongs to the hopeless middle class. Bugger worked hard all his life, took any job he could find, most of them didn't have benefits. He doesn't quite understand why, having been a stand up guy, his wife died and he has nothing left to show for his efforts. He did his best and yes, he is still proud to be an American.

What is the point of capitalism if we have no social conscience?

Try to have a conversation with friends about health care and at least one will tell you that Obama is turning us into socialists.

Is that another word for communism? Are we still afraid of the Reds?

In England there is a two tiered health system, encompassing both public health care for all citizens and private options for those who can afford the premium. In a country known for class divisions and peerage, this "have and have not system" works. The poor and middle class are grateful and the upper class send their aides out with a check to secure an appointment with a specialist.

In Canada the health care system is closing in on the half century mark. The mission statement in its creation, ensured that all Canadians, regardless of their financial statement, would have access to health care. While this works for the majority of patients, those that are fiancially able may still have to wait in line, behind a more serious prognosis. The man on welfare will get the equivalent "state of the art" treatment as the CEO of a major corporation. Realistically, thanks to America's close proximity to their Canadian neighbors, the wealthy simply hop on a plane with their American Express card and pay for needed services, returning to Canada with their MRIs and detailed medical recommendations. At any rate, they were probably treated by a Canadian doctor in Buffalo, that was lured away from the salary caps imposed by the Canadian government. America is the land of opportunity and its unlikely you will ever locate a financially strapped doctor in the US.

Somewhere in between, a system that encompasses compassion and respect for life, is possible. No one is in a better position than America to get it right, given the international history that exists today. But, the country bleeds with ignorance and would rather defend it's habit, the known factor, than to look ahead to our children's needs.

It burns me that the government had to bail out the banks and car companies. But really, what choice did they have? If you think that your house is worthless now, what do you think that tent you might have had to buy at Home Depot would get you in resale?

There is a subdued confidence in the suit of armor that Obama wears. It's lined with conviction. Without a doubt, advisors, speechwriters and a devotion to serve his term with honor, anchor this presidency.

If Americans are so vigilant that they can avoid the Kennedy scandals, while at the same time trying to impeach a president for inappropriate use of tobacco products, then maybe they should give themselves credit for knowing the limits, ensuring there are checkpoints in place, appreciating the cause and embracing the future.

The world has changed. Americans are the only people who have the right to vote for the presidency and yet their decisions at the poll changes America's place in the world.

For, while Obama is the President of the United States, for the rest of the world, he represents a country with tremendous power and the financial resources to change every life on earth. It is no accident that world leaders sighed with relief when Obama's victory was announced. They had good cause and strong evidence to fear reckless power and egotistical rule. The history books are riddled with tragedies of shameless power focused on personal agendas.

Stop harping, America. You done good!

You might be upset about the falling crop prices in Kansas, but you raised a son, who against all odds, represents America on a world stage and does so with dignity.

Obama's Presidency
Contest Winner

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