History will look back on this time and say that Barack Obama was either the most transformational president or the worst president in history. His power has not come from a coherent plan or vision which he rightly demanded from Governor Romney. His strength has come from the fact that many segments of the electorate who have felt disenfranchised believe that he understands them better than anyone on the conservative side of the ledger.
Being the better of two evils was a powerful political advantage for the president. Since May 2012, I have spoken with hundreds of faith leaders who described themselves as being caught between “the devil and the deep blue sea.” For them, Mitt Romney represented white privilege and in this period of American disillusionment with politics-as-usual, President Obama’s first election unified many folks. He was elected because we as a people wanted to turn our economy around and to end to five things:
1. Partisanship and game playing in government
2. Racism and social division
3. Reckless national spending under George Bush
4. Irresponsible corporate greed and corruption
5. An era of perceived US war mongering
It is obvious that President Obama has not fixed the economy; even the most optimistic of the president’s supporters are not expecting his policies to produce immediate results. President Clinton’s brilliant national convention speech gave President Obama a “Get Out of Jail Free” card, when he stated that no one could have turned the economy around in such a short time.
At that point of the campaign, candidate Romney could have still won the race by shifting to clearer discussions about capitalism, government, renewing blighted urban areas, and social issues. Focusing on objective economic and tax measures should have been of interest to most Americans. Unfortunately for Romney, economics alone were not on the minds of the electorate.
....To be continued…
Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.