Thursday, November 01, 2012

Obama Will Win a Second Term as President

There is tension in the air, a kind of charged foreboding. It arises from a single question: What if Obama loses to Mitt Romney in the Nov. 6th election?

Between anxious Americans and chattering pundits, the consensus seems to be that if Obama wins at all, it will be by the slimmest of margins. That also means that he may lose by the slimmest of margins. It may even come down to a tie. An electoral nightmare will then descend on America, paralyzing government and letting loose the vicious dogs of partisan warfare.

Relax, my fellow Americans. Nothing of the sort will happen.

Obama will win a second term as President of the United States of America. And he will win by a comfortable margin, with at least 300 electoral votes, 30 more than what is required.

Why will Obama win? It’s simple, really. Obama will win because he is the better candidate, and in their guts, a majority of Americans know it, including those who will vote for Romney. Obama is not slick. He does not bend in the direction of the current political wind. He is more humane, bringing healthcare to millions of Americans who would otherwise be left twisting in the wind if Romney were to be elected. The wealthy, most of whom amassed their riches on the backs of vulnerable Americans and government subsidy, will have to pay more tax, as simple justice demands. Renewable energy will have a better chance of flourishing, with potential breakthroughs in technology. Brakes will be applied on brazen thievery by bankers and Wall Street honchos who have destroyed a significant percentage of middle-income American families. And global warming will be dealt with from the perspective of scientists, not blowhards.

Obama has not exactly been a profile in courage. The word that perhaps best describes him is “prudence.” But we have seen what “bold” can do. George Bush tried to remake the Middle-East in his own image by inventing weapons of mass destruction. The cost of that arrogance has been incalculable.

The charge has been made that in his inaugural address in 2009, Obama promised to think, dream and perform big. It didn’t pan out. Most of his successes have been incremental, prose rather than poetry. But that’s what America needed in the last four years: avoid catastrophes at home and abroad by pursuing the middle path.

In his second term, the President can deliver on the promise of his first inaugural address and go for at least one or two bold moves that fire the imagination. Unburdened by expectations, he can set in motion policies that can generate good jobs at home and stability and peace abroad.

Mitt Romney is beholden to the extremist elements of the Republican Party. No matter how hard he may try to bring democrats and republicans together, his agenda will be driven by the Tea Party manifesto. This will be a nightmare for America.

Obama put Romney in the race with his inexcusable performance in the first debate. Romney’s dominance in that debate gave him the surge he needed to make this election a contest. But Obama also helped himself by the way he picked up the pieces in the two debates afterwards. Americans can identify with a candidate who suffers a decisive defeat at first and then goes on to stage a stirring comeback.

Along with “prudence,” another word that defines Obama is “lucky.” The man embodies luck. He got Osama bin Laden. Just when the economy is about to sink further, job prospects look up. When home sales hit the bottom, statistics indicate that prices are beginning to rebound. Romney can fight Obama on any front but when it comes to luck, the challenger is defenseless.

Obama's winning a second term is an even more impressive achievement than his first win. In 2008, Obama was riding on the wings of hope and change. After eight dark years under George Bush, Americans yearned for a change. There was the novelty of an African-America residing in the White House. John McCain didn’t help his case by choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate. The country, and the world, held its breath for history to be made. And history was made.

But now there is no history to be made. The novelty has worn off. With his cautious and hesitant approach, ‘no drama’ Obama has brought us down to earth. His eloquence worked against him when his deeds fell short of his soaring words.

The honeymoon has definitely been over. That is why, to still elect him for a second term after seeing his flaws exposed under the harsh glare of reality, is so significant. Obama is not the embodiment of the impossible hopes we invested in him. He is neither the savior of the oppressed nor the statesman who can see farther than anyone else. He is just who he is, and that is good enough for us to choose him over Mitt Romney.
Congratulations, President Obama, for winning the toughest fight of your life. Now, please deliver on your promise by aiming higher than you have so far


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