To the Editor:
I graduated from Boston University’s College of Communication in 2009. My classmates and I transitioned out of undergraduate life just after experiencing the energy and excitement of the 2008 election, during which most of us were swayed by the promises of “change” that were offered by then–U.S. Sen. Barack Obama. Obama promised “politics of hope,” implicitly offering policies that would provide economic recovery, relief for the underprivileged and an end to the aggressive military posture that the U.S. adopted during the early and mid-2000s. It was an attractive vision, painted with rhetorical skill, which resonated with the ideals of young Americans.
Years later, I can speak for myself and many of my classmates when I say that Obama’s vision for America has failed to materialize. Our economic wellbeing is still jeopardized by debt, unemployment and slow markets. Our foreign relations are just as marred by violence and distrust as they ever were under President George W. Bush.
Obama promised economic recovery and a bipartisan approach to solving America’s financial problems. Yet, he handed us ineffectual spending programs that increased our nation’s debt without increasing employment rates. He constantly promotes higher taxes on the wealthy as a solution to America’s yearly deficit, yet he has increased spending so much that no realistic income tax increase could compensate for it. Meanwhile, young Americans have not been able to find gainful employment or use the degrees that they have earned. Student debt mounts, yet a bachelor’s degree does not provide a sufficient basis for employment in such a depressed job market. A significant number of the students who embraced Obama’s vision in 2008 are still searching for jobs, living at home and paying off exorbitant loans. So much talent, both young and old, has gone unused these past years due to the continued economic downturn. The current administration is not effectively addressing economic problems, and the result is evident in the tough job market that students are graduating into today.
A president cannot fix things overnight, nor can he be held responsible for every individual problem that a country faces. Yet our current leader, Obama, has failed to move our country in the direction of a recovery. His ineffectual, divisive administration has not inspired much “hope,” nor has it resulted in meaningful “change.”
When students cast their ballots this year, they should be mindful of the course that Obama has taken. They should weigh his promises against the tough reality that we face. This man has had four years and considerable public good will to work with. Unfortunately for all of us, he hasn’t gotten the job done.