Midterm Elections: A Test of Our Commitment - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

The commitment we made to support President Barack Obama as the right person to lead our nation did not end when we cast our votes two years ago; it was just beginning. On Tuesday, Nov. 2, we will have the first major test of our commitment when we vote in the first midterm elections since we elected Obama.

As our president, Obama is delivering on the commitments he made during his campaign. He’s reformed healthcare. He’s enacted reform of the financial services industry, helping to protect consumers against risky and potentially dangerous home mortgage and credit card practices. He‘s ended the war in Iraq. He’s provided greater access to loans, grants, and scholarships for our kids who want to go to college, as well as tax relief and other resources for the small businesses that drive employment growth for our nation. Obama has kept all of these commitments, and more, despite the worst economic conditions our nation has endured in more than a half century.

Yet, despite all that Obama has accomplished in just a half term in office, many of us are losing faith, tired and frustrated by the lack of improvement in our economic situations. It’s been too long since our last raise, or even since our last job. The wealth drained from our home values and retirement accounts by the recession has yet to be restored, even though we’ve been told that the recession technically ended in June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. The truth is, many of us just don’t feel any better, and it’s disheartening, which makes it tempting to abandon our commitment to sacrifice on behalf of the vision of America we voted for only a short while ago. In fact, Obama’s political opposition, including the Tea Party that is striving mightily to take over the GOP agenda, is counting on us to surrender, so that they can reverse the progress made by Obama and regain control of the future of America.

My message to you: Don’t let that happen. Barack Obama is still the best hope for our nation. No one–not the Republican opposition, and certainly not the Tea Party–has offered a better alternative, in terms of either leadership or solutions to the problems we are facing. Their criticism of Obama is comprised of personal attacks, not a fair assessment of his performance.

The truth is that Obama has our country headed in the right direction, and it’s not realistic or reasonable to expect his policies to fix in less than two years an economy wrecked by more than a decade of failed policies and poor leadership. We must reject the fool’s gold of instant gratification and immediate comfort, and instead continue to make the sacrifices necessary to ensure the lasting security and prosperity of our nation for future generations. We owe it not to Obama, but to ourselves to give his policies time to bear fruit. We must stand up for those who will continue to advance his agenda when we vote in the midterm elections on Nov. 2. Do not allow the Republican Party to use the Tea Party to stall or derail the restoration of our economy and our nation.

Above all, don’t do this out of blind loyalty to Obama. Do it for yourself, your family, your children, and future generations of Americans who will ultimately reap the benefits of our commitment to put our nation back on track, revitalize the middle class, and restore access to the American dream for all.

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