Obama’s broken promises kick off campaign for 2012
As the US president officially kicks off his re-election campaign, Sarah Palin’s question “How is that hopey, changey stuff working out?” takes on a new level of cruelty.
RT takes a look at the promises made and not kept, and the effect this has had on millions of Americans that used to believe in change, but now don’t. Two and a half years ago – tears of joy filled the country as Americans celebrated the victory of a President symbolizing the new American dream. The promise of change was met by an unprecedented frenzy of hope. The president of transformation, peace and economic resurrection had finally appeared “This is history. Definitely history,” gushed supporters as Obama delivered his victory speech in his hometown Chicago. But as Barack Obama launches his bid for a second term, the mood has changed, with those tears of joy turning to tears of frustration. “I feel hurt, because people voted for him, and he said, ‘oh, we’re gonna do this and we’re gonna do that.’ I feel like the door has been slammed in a lot of people’s faces,” says Maria Walles, clerical worker and mother of two, with years of homelessness behind her. She was among the people who brought Obama to the White House with her vote.“It’s not because he was the first African-American president to be in the U.S., but more as a change. Like he says ‘yes we can.’ Well, I did believe the ‘yes we can’ for quite a while. Then it’s like, ‘okay, jobs are going down, gas is four dollars up,’” she explains. This woman is one of many now wondering whether the campaign promises were nothing more than slogans. Today, half of Americans polled don’t believe their president deserves a second term.“I heard the voice of change, but we did not receive that, and I came to the realization—his election helped me get that the Democrats and Republicans are exactly the same thing,” says Workers Internationally activist Derrick Watson. This weekend, up to fifteen hundred people poured out onto the streets of New York, fueled by un-kept presidential promises. From the myth of the Guantanamo shut-down, to wealth inequality caused by a broken economy, to money being wasted on things people just can’t fathom.“The way that the United States is being run into the ground, with continued war, with all of these different tax cuts for the rich, a lot of people are really worried about what will happen to us,” said student and activist Connor Reed.There are 6 million fewer jobs in the U.S. than at the recession kick-off. Yet, the U.S. military budget is the largest in the world, at over 7 hundred billion dollars and continues to grow. It allows for quick injections abroad – like the 600 million pumped into one week of warfare in Libya. But there have been no significant changes at home. “The president really isn’t powerful anymore. He is a puppet. He is a puppet to the private oligarchy interests that fund the political campaigns. He is a puppet to Wall Street, to the military security complex which wants wars for the profits,” says Paul Craig Roberts, former Reagan administration official. As disenchantment grows, to many the solution for broken promises is more visible than ever.“It’s easy, it’s easy! Stop voting for Democrats and Republicans. Vote for anyone else,” suggests former Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura in an exclusive interview with RT. Syndicated talk show host David Pakman agreed whole-heartedly with Ventura’s sentiments. “Democrats and Republicans, on a majority of issues, are very, very similar,” says Pakman. “We can pick individual politicians that are different…but the reality is lobbyists [are] donating to both sides.”At the same time, Pakman lauds Obama’s initiative and says that he wants his politicians to make promises. It just so happens that Obama wasn’t able to come through with some of his. Regarding the shutting down of Gitmo, Pakman says,“Obama actually made this specific promise and it just completely did not work.”“Was it a mistake to be so specific? Maybe it was,” he adds.Remember Obama rival Sarah Palin’s sarcastic “how’s that hopey, changey stuff working out?” question more than halfway through the Presidency? It has now taken on a new level of cruelty . For many Americans, it’s not working out. Obama will have to work hard to convince voters that there will be change and there is still reason for hope.