When Barack Obama took office in 2009, he stood at a cross-road between the history and future of the American Presidency. As the first president of biracial heritage, he was already on a path to unite people of diverse ethnic backgrounds, reduce racial tension and build consensus out of discord.
Instead, he pursued a plan of action that smacks of socialism and has polarized the American people to a degree not seen in over 100 years. Less than two years after he took office, he has come to be widely regarded as the worst president in the country’s history.
The true tragedy doesn’t lie in the effects of his policies, or even in the precedent-setting polarization these policies have wrought. It lies in the loss of a historical opportunity to right a number of wrongs and effect positive change that would have lived on long after he left the Oval Office.
When the 112th Congress convened in January 2011, it had a similar opportunity to right wrongs and effect positive change that will live on for decades. We can only hope that the members of this Congress don’t squander that opportunity. Thus far, it appears that they haven’t.