As the economy is crashing all around us and the world is imploding, I wanted to comment on a few recent public appearances by our President Obama.
As a matter of disclosure, to no surprise for anyone I’m sure, I should point out that I do like our new President a whole lot. But, I’m not really interested in commenting on any specific policy decisions, but rather more on the broader impact of the tone, attitude and image the new administration is projecting on the rest of the world.
Call me crazy, but I find it to be a really refreshing change from the prior administration, to hear the President actually accepting responsibility for his and his administration’s actions instead of laying blame on others. And I think that the world is ready for a United States that is a little more open to reason and a willingness to listen, rather than just acting like a world bully. I don’t think I’m the only one of that mindset either. The recklessness of the prior President and his cronies left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouth.
I like the fact that we’re seeing moves towards more transparency and accountability while moving away from the days of constant fear mongering, scaring people into submission while stripping them of their rights in the name of national security. I don’t consider this to be a trade-off for security. I do however see it as a way to reconnect with the rest of the world and create some good-will that we’ve squandered over the last 8 years, giving others fewer reason to dislike us. And maybe also fewer reasons to attack us?
I think it’s a good thing to open up for dialog with our “enemies” under certain conditions. After all Nixon did this in the 70’s, so it’s not a new concept. I just don’t see how we can go on thinking that previously failed policies of the last decade are all of a sudden going to work now. There needs to be some new thinking in order to make progress. Using force is one-sided and rarely solves problems long term. We need to understand the other side and I feel that our new President is at least open to some new ways of tackling these issues in the delicate matter that they should be treated, not running everyone over like a bulldozer just to get his way.
Again, I’m not in any way saying we should drop our guard and surrender to terrorists (which is what certain people are accusing Obama of). I’m just advocating that a change in attitude can do as much, if not more, in terms of guaranteeing people’s safety and well-being as the use of scare tactics and infringement on peoples civil liberties does.
I might be drinking the kool-aid, but much of what I’ve seen so far makes me more and more hopeful. And as I’m transitioning into becoming a citizen myself in just a few weeks, I would very much wish to become a citizen of a country that’s well liked and looked-up to rather than the despised world dictator that we sometimes come across as.
Image is everything, and so far Obama has got that down pat for sure. Now, let’s see if this image can be backed up by more actions that promote the change we were promised.
I am convinced it can.