A bolder Obama can belong to Ages
by: Dave & Nita Anand
Sometimes around 350 BC, Aristotle observed thus: "He who has not learned to obey cannot be a good commander."
By that token, re-elected President Barack Obama can only be a half good commander since he pushes for the causes of 50 percent of Americans and disobeys the other half. But all this can change with a stroke of boldness. The country is too divided and for it to continue like this bodes disaster from here on unless something is done quite bold. Since Obama does not have to be re-elected, he can be real bold.
Now is the time for Obama to show that same flexibility he promised to Russians (overheard in an open microphone) to work with Republicans at the cost of his liberal wing and bring this great country together by finding solutions to the critical domestic issues of the looming fiscal cliff, a budget deal to address taxes/debt/deficit/entitlements, and a substantial improvement to the jobs and economic situation.
Solutions to Iran, Afghanistan and Syria and Palestinian issues will be crucial for claiming success in the foreign policy arena.
Obama must not waste this second term opportunity in petty bargaining and rather achieve something extraordinary before he leaves the political scene. The country faces a very tricky situation ahead, not just the four years ahead, but much beyond that requires a courageous leader to take actions now to save it and its 300-million people from going through hard times like those during the Great Depression.
The "Can Do President" has to transform into the "Must Do President" and could use some help from Romney-Ryan in the process. In this, Obama will have to put some distance between himself and the Democratic Party – not a divorce or a separation, but some space that will allow him to reach agreements with Republicans on those extremely difficult issues.
As Obama gets ready to embark on his second term, he must recall the stubborn refusal of both parties at every step of the way to solve the monumental problems our country faces. That state of mind of both parties needs to change if this close election is any indication: Americans want their political leaders to work together and show expediency in getting the results before it is too late.
Dreaming big is one of the important characteristics of Obama’s personality. He should dream even bigger and needs to think he belongs to the Ages. So along with Obamacare -should he succeed in putting behind most of the critical issues by working with Republicans and upsetting a few Democrats – Obama will leave behind a great legacy that will put him in the company of Lincoln, FDR, Jefferson, and such political giants.
Obama must dream of being greater than the position of President and this second term provides him that opportunity; he can be the “Savior” of the country and its 300million people if he acts boldly. He must be ready to act and let Congress be the do-nothing Congress that people can discern easily and then get rid of them in two years. But the real challenge lies in working with them than to get rid of them and achieve the results 100 percent Americans are looking for.
Crossing the center line and into Republican territory will be required of Obama on some issues and vice-versa for Republicans on the other issues. It should be easier to do this now when the burden of re-election is over. Obama must therefore concentrate on healing the country by taking into account the aspirations of all Americans as well as his legacy that he would like history to remember him for.
While the rewards are spectacular - there are hardly any risks by thinking big in the second term of a presidential term. Obama’s role model Abraham Lincoln once said: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Well, Obama has 6 weeks to sharpen his axe and 4+ years to trim the tree a bit that is full of debt/deficit/entitlements.
By sharpening his axe, being bold and making a few courageous moves and concessions – Obama, acting as his own “Fiscal Surgeon General,” with an axe than a scalpel - should be able to leave behind a nonpareil legacy. The country will lose a lot should Obama fail to muster that boldness and courage; he will too.