Help Obama get it right for nation

Thursday November 8, 2012

It’s important to understand that, in American politics, a president has about 2+ years of his/her first term to push for significant change. At that point in time, though, he/she already begins to campaign for re-election and begins to measure his/her words and actions in order to win a majority of voters one-and-a-half years away. On top of that, the tea party voted in 60+ representatives in 2010 to block every single initiative the president offered up. Now, having won a second term, and unencumbered by the thought of re-election, I believe the president will push for other significant reforms (and the House will continue to push back against all of it).

Michael Pollan had a conversation with President Obama about food (all aspects, from healthy foods, to GMOs, to corporate farming) and Pollan suggested meaningful changes in the system. It was clear to Pollan that the president understood it -- understood it all -- in elegant detail. The president’s advice to Pollan?: "Make me do it!"

That reveals an essential truth about a democratic system. We are naive to think the president will be the lone standard bearer to push change through a House whose sole purpose it is to undermine the president. It is we the people, state by state, community by community, voter by voter, activist by activist, who will make this happen. When there is groundswell of support (as there was with activists and the Keystone Pipeline (so far), the president is given the power to shift the direction of government.

Casting a vote for the president Tuesday allowed me, allowed you, four more years for us to make significant change. We had not taken advantage of having Obama in the Oval Office. We have created an opportunity to do that one more time. Let’s get it right this time, OK?




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