*President Obama has operated as President in an effort to save our economy and get the country to fulfill its democratic promise.
In the process President Obama has been attacked by conservatives as overreaching, and attacked by liberals as being too conformist. Being in this position puts Obama in the company of Presidents Johnson and Roosevelt, two presidents that have shaped contemporary America in the most positive ways.
By approving bailout funds for the financial and auto industries Obama helped save the economy on a large scale and made those companies more accountable to the government. Critiquing him for getting the government more involved in the economy is akin to critiquing President Roosevelt for creating the Securities and Exchange Commission. In both cases the government was needed to provide a safeguard so that the economy would not undergo the same downturn that preceded Obama’s and Roosevelt’s elections.
By asking the Justice Department to stop enforcing the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, Obama is promoting the idea that Americans of all sexual orientations can exist with dignity in our society. Condemning this stance by the current administration is similar to the disapproval President Johnson faced when promoting and signing the 1964 Civil Rights Act. In both cases the federal government needed to lead the move to have society at large recognize a minority group’s value so that individual states would not be able to disfranchise them.
All three presidents were/are disparaged for changing society too much by conservatives and not changing society enough by liberals. But of the programs these executives pushed all of them have benefited the country.
It remains to be seen whether Obama will get a second term. But even if he doesn’t, he has already proven himself to be a visionary and one of the greatest presidents in American history.
Trevor Brookins is a free lance writer in Rockland County, New York. He is currently working on a book about American culture during the Cold War. His writing has appeared in The Journal News. You can reach him at [email protected]