Congratulations President Barack Obama on Your Re-Election: What You Need to Do Now!
IDEA Editorial November 7, 2012
We at IDEA are extremely gratified to witness the re-election of Barack Obama, a well-deserved political tenure of a second term. History has always surprises, but all along we have depended not on our fervent wishes but on what Americans and America will decide on Election Day, and on Tuesday November 7, 2012 America made the right and historic decision.
Congratulations Barack Obama on your re-election, but now, you know, that you have a great mission to accomplish, a lacunae to fulfill, and a promise to keep. You know, and we all know, that you have come to the political platform with a slogan of �change� that you have met partially but not completely. As a result, a significant number of your supporters, especially the young men and women, were confused, disenfranchised, and some of them disgruntled. But they have not opted for quid pro quo, and on the contrary, on Election Day, they came out in significant numbers to make sure that you are re-elected. This, we believe, is a reaffirmation on the part of your supporters that they have faith on you and you should consider yourself as very lucky man, but it is time for you to pay back. Therefore, here are below is a repertoire of what you need to do:
1. You must galvanize what you have initiated and have gotten half way through with respect to your historic health care system, euphemistically known as �Obamacare�. Among the industrialized OECD countries, it is only the United States that does not have universal health care.
2. You must immediately initiate an economic recovery policy with a special focus on the middle class that is hurting, but most importantly you must give attention to and reach out all Americans that have been laid off or to those who were unemployed for a long time. It is time for the big corporations and banks that you have rescued in your first term to do their part.
3. You must introduce a bill that regulates oil. The gas pumps have virtually bankrupted the wallets of average Americans and this is caused by natural calamities and/or political upheavals in the Middle East, but due to the rapacious oil magnates, more specifically the Seven Sisters (Exxon/Mobil, Gulf, Texaco, SoCal, Shell, and BP). These oil companies actually decide the price of oil at the pump and, like it or not, American motorists have to encounter the arbitrary whims of these oil giants. This should not be so! Your administration should submit a new bill to Congress to regulate oil, very much like FDA does to food and drugs or USDA does to agricultural produce. Congress could either reintroduce its oil regulatory act that it has abandoned so long ago, or confirm the new bill.
4. You must keep your promise to �bring the boys home� (the men and women serving in the military) from Afghanistan. It is a strategic mistake for America to immerse itself in a quagmire of war that has no end in sight or that is not winnable. It has a deleterious effect on foreign policy and a negative splurge effect on American economy. At this juncture, the USA must re-allocate the billions of dollars spent in Afghanistan and elsewhere to the creation of jobs at home.
5. You must fix the broken immigration system as you have promised. In most instances, and often for campaigns purposes only, and especially to win the Latino votes, the issue of immigration is debated vis-�-vis the contiguous zone of the US and Mexico, but we all know that immigrants come from all over the world to the United States. America has indeed become the destination or rendezvous point for all humanity. However, what is not revealed in the media or discussed in campaigns is the degree of discrimination leveled against African immigrants. While Europeans enter the US freely, and some are even employed without a work permit, the USCIS and US embassies have taken unnecessary extreme measures against granting visas to naturalized citizens of African origin to bring over their spouse or fianc�s or reunite with their families. This egregious immigration policy should stop and the promise of the Statue of Liberty should apply to all.
6. You must give great attention to American education. The USA has great institutions of learning that are the envy of the world. However, the American educational system as a whole and the schools and universities in particular have encountered a major set back in the last three decades. Quality education has deteriorated immensely and America has become less and less competitive in higher education at global level. The problem is engendered by many and complex variables, but two important factors that stand out and that have contributed to the crisis of education in America are, a) the politicization of our schools systems and the degeneration of educational leadership especially at the college and university levels. Appointments of full-time faculty are not based on merit anymore, but on ascription decided solely by the �secret ballot� of the demurred deans, provosts, and presidents of respective colleges and universities. Those universities that employ merit as a criterion are extremely rare these days. Contrary to their traditional historical mission, our universities have become the center-stage of patronage politics; b) the majority of American colleges and universities hire part-time or adjunct faculty only, who by virtue of their position, could not engage in the educational process and performance in any meaningful way. Faculty meetings are for full-time professors only; adjuncts don�t participate in most meetings; adjuncts, in some colleges, don�t have an office and hence could not advise their students; they have relations with students in the classrooms only. Universities that hire more adjuncts and less tenured or full-time faculty (save the Ivy Leagues) are destined to fail, and hence, America�s global incompetence in education should not come as a surprise. In order to salvage the American educational system from collapse, thus, the Oabama Administration should act quickly in addressing the problem of education in the US, but its immediate task should be to investigate the politicization of American colleges and universities. Some of the latter enjoy public funding and they must therefore be held accountable to the Federal Government.
7. You must, this time, dedicate your commitment to Africa, a continent that has tremendous potential and yet that suffers from many development-related setbacks and economic challenges, fostered by the domestic and international parameters. There is no doubt that Africa will re-emerge and would become a force to be reckoned with, but it needs a little help from the United States at a time when it is staggering to meet the preconditions for development. It is inevitable that the US would countenance a conjuncture in its involvement in Africa, but if America is sincere in its engagement in the continent, the latter�s re-emergence would be inexorable and a remarkable fit in human history.
Finally, we like to hold you accountable for your future actions based on your own words that you said when you were re-elected: �I have listened to you; I learned from you; you made me a better president.� Well said, but the spoken word could dissipate or evaporate in thin air unless it is translated into action.
Good luck Mr. President and may the Universe be on your side!
All Rights Reserved. Copyright � IDEA, Inc. 2012