President Barack Obama: Hope and Change Are More than A Dream

The 44th president of the United States is a leader most nations would be proud to have. Brilliant, educated, polished and articulate, a statesman and a visionary, Obama surmounted the seemingly insurmountable barriers of color and ethnicity to win the White House, embodying the messages of hope and change that resonated with diverse voters. At a time when our collective national psyche was battered and disillusioned, Americans pinned their hopes, dreams and ambitions on Barack Obama. Following a Commander-in-chief who had become a cartoonish farce around the world, Obama was handed the Herculean tasks of rescuing a failing economy, dealing with multiple military conflicts and a stricken domestic morale as he inspired our confidence. Now, in a strange twist of fate, the very traits that generally point to a leader’s success have hamstrung our national progress.

At this point, the “dream” seems to be Obama’s alone- a dream of bipartisanship and compromise as a course for leading the nation. The debt-ceiling compromise caused most of us to hold our collective noses and accept it rather than witness another global financial collapse. The President’s reversal of smog standard regulations and the public scheduling mishap with House Speaker John Boehner over the date of the national address on jobs are uncharacteristic of the brilliant statesman we voted for. One is left to wonder how this president survived the tough world of Chicago politics. President Obama will be ineffectual, unless he reconnects with the leadership potential that our nation saw in him.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

It is time for the President to take a stand during these times of challenge and controversy, a character underpinning of genuine leadership. I am still a avid supporter of the President, but I yearn for him to demand respect from his allies and his detractors during these difficult times as he seeks to lead a nation he inspired to change.

Contributed by Claire McLeveighn


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