In the wake of the Herman Cain scandal, the campaign has some how become more real to me now. Not that it wasn’t real before, but now we are seeing the gloves come off. Things are getting dirty and dimes are being dropped. Some (like Cain) bow out. Others (like Huntsman) look to their father for funding. The game is about to get thick.
I think back to the night Barack Obama was first elected. I kissed my wife and walked outside. I looked up into the clear night and reflected on the fact that I was standing on American soil as a descendant of slavery. Now under this same sky I was standing under there was a Black man, who was now the leader of this nation. I didn’t cry, I didn’t have a breakdown or catch the Holy Ghost. But I let a shout out into the night “He did it! Whoooo!”
By the time Obama’s inauguration had come those who were already aware knew the country was in bad shape. President Bush had squandered the surplus he inherited from Clinton. Bush then led this nation into two unnecessary wars that cost American’s billions of dollars. As the housing market went unchecked, whispers of foreclosures were becoming common place. Families you used to see daily, taking the kids to school moved away quietly in the night without notice.
Since then, if I’m honest, things have only gotten worse. I don’t blame him for all of it. I had no illusions about President Obama being a Civil Rights leader or a magician. But I’m deeply disappointed in where we are right now. Some say our President is too academic. They say he’s not mentally tough enough to play hardball with the Right. I’m not sure about that. He does come off soft a lot. Then again, if he could clap Osama Bin Laden, and use drones to take out a lot of other Al-Qaeda operatives – he’s no cream puff.
Let me be clear, I am much more conservative today than I used to be. I was raised as a Democrat. After my conversion to Islam and having a family I became instinctively more conservative. I did a lot of activism for the hard left in my youth, but over time I found them just as disconnected as the hard right. They are both wrong to me for different reasons. I don’t occupy Wall St. I occupy the three jobs I’m blessed to have and spend what’s left with my wife and children. But I understand why they do all they have done. At the same time, I feel the Left has an unfocused, Communist agenda I want nothing to do with.
I was never voting for Cain. I had a bad feeling in my gut n my gut from the start. It apparently proved right. I have never believed Romney was ready for prime time. I still don’t even think Gingrich is seriously running. I’ve always believed he’s been trying to re-consolidate his power within the Republican Party and nothing more. If he gets into the Oval Office, that’s just gravy for him. In the end, actual performance is much more important to me than party affiliation.
But back to Obama. I realize now that the issue for me is not if I will vote for Barack Obama or whomever wins on the Republican nomination. Its about whether I will vote for Barack Obama or not at all. I still can’t believe I’m even saying it. So many ancestors were killed as they fought for their right to vote. Sadly, for the first time I may deliberately not do it. President Obama’s Administration has made me question everything about how we got here. A few months ago a lady told me she wasn’t going to vote, I really went hard on her about how foolish she was. Today, I really understand her position.
Here is my list of things I must see from him to show up at the polls:
1. He must address everything about how Wall Street is working. He must get Holder to start jailing those responsible for hijacking our economy. The President must start naming the names and showing the faces of those who have robbed and looted the American people. He must understand that Wall Street is being occupied because he failed to address it with aggression and consistence. Bernie Madoff did not act alone. We need to know their names and faces just like we know those of Kim Kardashian or Justin Bieber.
2. Guantanamo must be closed. There is no reason it should have ever existed. Even less of a reason it should stay open after he used it as a campaign platform.
3. Radical changes in the American public school system must be made. I’m sure if this is an issue purely related to funding or to function, but things must change now. I know of schools where good teachers are underfunded and the structure is simply not there to prepare the youth for tomorrow. Whats even worse is that the kids know this. That’s why they turn to drugs and alcohol and gangs.
4. Poverty has rapidly become a cancer to this nation. I do not blame Obama for it, but we are well beyond epidemic levels of poverty here. I’ve seen kids pass out from starvation in San Francisco. When MLK Jr. and James Baldwin spoke of this extensively, I never understood it. I see clearly now, and it is time for him to act on it.
5. I believe there needs to be a review of our justice system in regards to political prisoners. I am not asking you to free every political prisoner. However, an independent panel needs to be created to honestly look at the process of surveillance, methodology of the prosecution and the legitimacy of the testimony of witnesses. Our prisons are overflowing as it is. I don’t want anyone free who has truly done wrong. But I don’t want anyone in, who was unjustly prosecuted.
I doubt he will get all of these things addressed before the 2012 election. I can only assure you that my vote for Obama, let alone at all, will hinge on him addressing all the above. What are your top 5 things you would like to see Obama address openly and aggressively?
See Also: Eight Steps To The White House