Is Obama an Idealist?

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First of all, I must admit that our president has started the ball rolling toward positive change in our economy, in our health plan, and in a more peaceful world. I truly do not believe that any person, whether republican or democrat, could deny that, if he were being honest with himself. The auto insurance companies are performing better, which will in turn, help our economy in the long run. An unsuccessful health care system is minimally being debated. Healthy analysis and debate will lead to a change for the better. Plus, Obama has visited more countries than most presidents even fathomed, and he truly is attempting to rally the allies of our country through peaceful discussions.

However, no one is perfect, and our president is included in that sweeping statement. I have always said that Obama is an idealist, and that has only been confirmed over and over again in my mind. Obama believes in this country. He loves it, and he loves the citizens of this country. That is true. However, he tends to look for the best in people, and I’d even go as far to say that he expects the best out of people. In his mind, he believes that most Americans want to work hard- that they want to succeed by diligence, working their way up, making their lives better one small step at a time. This is true for some people, but unfortunately, it is also very untrue for a large group of people. To be specific, let’s look at an example. Obama has extended the period of Federal Unemployment assistance for 2 consecutive periods. He knows that people who are out of work need help, and he’s right in that manner. They do.

What he fails to realize,however, is that many people are now turning down jobs because their federal unemployment check pays more than a minimum wage job would. So what we have is a system that rewards its citizens for not working. I don’t believe that was ever Obama’s intentions, but in a sense, he believes that most people have the ethics of hard work. If you read Dreams of my Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, then you know that Obama was not reared in a strictly working class family. He attended the best private school around. His parents were highly educated, and he was expected to achieve as much, if not more than they. He rose to those expectations.

 He is not, although, as familiar with poverty stricken families as he would like to believe. I find it sad that many Americans are content sitting on their couches, holding out their hands for free money provided by the taxes of those us who do work hard every day. It’s very disheartening, but I also know that it is a reality. I’d like to say that our president would be much more successful if he, too, were a realist- and not an idealist. But then again, as I told my husband just yesterday, Martin Luther King Jr. was an idealist. He wanted peace for all races and religions. He wanted his children to play with white children, which was an absurd notion at the time he dreamed it. Our history is full of idealists who have changed the world for the better. Perhaps Obama will join that History. But I do believe that a small dose of reality would simplify that endeavor.


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