Barack Obama’s Democrats will lose the congressional election today. After six years in office, the president must recognize that he has failed with the "we" in his campaign slogan.
“Yes we can” is the sentence that we, that everyone, will always associate with the first black president of the United States. Barack Obama has written history on the basis of his skin color alone, but his contribution will remain having been elected on account of this sentence. He told Americans, and the world, that there was hope of changing today’s world for the better. He stands for the conviction that this hope is certainly more valuable than the cynical view of a world that allegedly cannot be changed, and in which the point is just to get the best for oneself.
Today, in the midterm election at the middle of the second, and according to the constitution, the last term of office of President Obama, the Democratic Party has its back to the wall. One-third of the Senate, the entire House of Representatives, and about two-thirds of the governors will be newly elected. According to past experience, midterm elections always go to the disadvantage of the governing party, but this time, it could end quite badly for the Democrats. They are desperately trying to mobilize their voters to go vote — and they are often fighting without Obama: not because he didn’t want to, but the word is that one or another Democratic candidate is avoiding getting close to Obama out of fear that his bad image could rub off.
Obama has turned gray in office — literally. Six years of presidency have left behind visible traces: Everyone can see that his office is a heavy burden. In the second half of the last legislative period, before the end of his term in office, every president is considered a lame duck because both the political opponent and one’s own party are already re-aligning. Obama, however, is a quite exceptional lame duck. He didn’t change the U.S. and the world at all, although he promised us and U.S. citizens as much. The world has not become more peaceful; Obama has found no convincing answers to the threat from the Islamic State terrorists or, for instance, the Ukraine conflict. That is because these simple answers do not exist; nevertheless, the president is held responsible for their absence.
U.S. Citizens Feel Threatened
But U.S. citizens are as a rule less interested in foreign policy than we imagine. That actually speaks well for the Democrats because according to generally accepted criteria, things are going well for the United States. The economy will grow about 3.5 percent in 2014, the unemployment rate has fallen to a respectable number, under 6 percent, and energy prices are continually sinking. In spite of this, many U.S. citizens do not feel well. They feel threatened. They believe what the Republicans are constantly saying in election speeches as well as campaign ads, above all supported by the U.S. FOX network, owned by Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
We know FOX as the network that created "The Simpsons" and Dr. House. U.S. citizens know it as the network that in association with the Republicans persuades them they are endangered: by the Islamic State group that is smuggling terrorists across the Mexican border, by illegal immigrants, and above all, by socialism. Democrats and their president are responsible for all evils. “Obamacare,” the public health insurance program for all U.S. citizens, actually an overdue milestone of social progress, was alternately castigated by the unholy alliance of the Republicans and FOX as the first steps into socialism or fascism, not to mention certainly the end of the free world. Higher taxes for better earners and any effort at all toward social balance are vilified with the same arguments. Little remains of what Obama once defined as a policy of hope for all citizens.
This is due to Obama himself, who even with health care let himself be driven from compromise to compromise. It is certainly also due to the consistent policy of refusal of the Republicans in the Senate and House of Representatives, especially after they attained the majority in 2010.
Above all, the dream that Obama is still always able to conjure so eloquently has failed because the people have carelessly forgotten what he really called out to them. “We can.” It is perhaps also the most bitter insight in retrospect of six years in office, that always when it came to social policy, far too few citizens and Democratic politicians committed to this “we.”
Democrats will lose their majority in the Senate, too; many of their elected representatives have already turned away from their own policies. So, there will be only one in the next two years who will be able to tell U.S. citizens which policies are good for all and not just for the few, who will tell them what it means to place hope above cynicism: Barack Obama.