We Americans can be pretty critical. We judge celebrities endlessly on their appearance and wardrobe selection.
We hold people to extremely high standards. Like our favorite athletes.
And we act like we’d make better decisions were WE in a particular situation.
Now, I’ve noticed that many Americans do all three of these things to President Obama. You know who I’m talking about. All those people who call him “President Osama” and then cackle like they’ve just said something ridiculously witty.
Don’t get me wrong. Obama hasn’t been perfect. He signed an extension to the Patriot Act and is sending troops into Libya, both of which I disapprove. However, I don’t think that the good things Obama has accomplished during his presidency should be overlooked.
I found this cool “Obama Tracker” on the NPR website. It’s a long time line of every major thing Obama has done during his time as president. If you click on a particular action, a brief description will show up on the side, and you can click on a link to a full article about it.
I looked through it and picked out some things that I feel are positive aspects of Obama’s presidency that perhaps he should have gotten more recognition for:
- Day 16, February 4 – Pres. Obama signs into law a bill expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Plan, which extended health coverage to 4 million additional uninsured children. This bill was vetoed twice by Bush.
- Day 127, May 26 – Pres. Obama appoints Sonia Sotomayor to fill vacant US Supreme Court seat. She is the first Hispanic and third woman to serve on the high court.
- Day 192, July 30 – U.S. signs the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the first human rights convention of the 21st century.
- Day 263, October 9 – The Norwegian Nobel Committee awards Pres. Obama the Nobel Peace Prize for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”.
- Day 275, October 21 – Pres. Obama proposes new initiatives aimed at jump-starting new businesses, including allowing the Small Business Administration to make bigger loans and making it easier and cheaper for community banks to access capital.
- Day 375, January 29 – Pres. Obama announces that federal government will reduce greenhouse gas pollution by 28% by 2020, executive order requires federal agencies submit a reduction target within 90 days, increase energy efficiency, reduce waste and promote environmentally responsible products and technologies.
- Day 406, March 1 – Pres. Obama announces that $900 million in grants will be given to failing schools willing to take drastic steps to improve.
- Day 472, May 5 – Pres. Obama signs into law the $3 billion Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act, which expands health services and support for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families, especially veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries.
- Day 557, July 29 – Pres. Obama signs Tribal Law and Order Act, which allows for more prosecution of violent crimes in tribal communities, expands training for tribal police, and improves the collection of American Indian crime data. (Note: This is quite important – the rate of violent crimes on reservations is TWICE that of the rest of the country, however a reservation the size of CONNECTICUT has only NINE law enforcement officials)
Yes, we should be critical of our president. We should hold our president to high standards. We should think about what we would do were we in a particular situation that our president is in. But at the same time we should recognize the good our president has done, even if we don’t think it’s significant.
There’s way too much negativity in politics. Let’s start stirring in some positivity, shall we?