By Wiha Powell
The New Year started rocky – trying to recover economically, almost falling off a fiscal cliff and tackling the nation’s debt ceiling. Yet, as a nation we shall overcome. In lightening the dampened mood, there was another historical moment, President Barack Obama, the first African American president, was once again inaugurated for a second term.
In his second inaugural speech the President, a defender of the American people, gave us hope of equality, fairness and social justice. However, this does not speak to the shift in the political dynamics of Capitol Hill. Rather, it only proves that post-partisanship is a ghost of the past that will never be resurrected and that the division between parties may be deeper. This fuels our uncertainty of what will or can be accomplished in the next four years.
However, leaving behind a “do-nothing” Congress, there is this hopefulness of the American people that the 113th Congress has a non-partisan agenda moving forward. Furthermore, thinking of progress and advancement and not waiting to see what the 113th Congress has in store, the President made clear that now is the time to act, which is his agenda in order to get things done in his second term.
“For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act; we must act knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and forty years, and four hundred years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.”
Creating a vision of goals for the American people to embrace, the President is attempting to setup a clear path in order to move
forward on a number of issues. Furthermore, as our leaders, it is their duty and responsibility to resolve these issues in an amicable way that is beneficial to both the welfare of the nation and people.
Therefore, moving forward, let us include the following on the agenda: adding a public option to Obamacare. A much needed avocation for major immigration reform, where our leaders agree on a national resolution and realize the full potential of the Dreamers and not deny the path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who want to pledge allegiance to the flag. Such a reform will grow our technology and manufacturing sectors as well as bring new taxpayers into the system. Furthermore, the opportunity is there for the President and 113th Congress, in order to strengthen our classroom by taking politics out of the education system and recommitting to the traditional public education, so we can once again compete in a global market.
Now is not the time for tax cuts for the wealthy few and the deregulation of programs that are in place for the welfare of the American people. America today is a progressive country; therefore, we as a nation need to think as such. The path for the nation’s progress is not invisible. We as a nation need to set sail together on the course to go after the jugular and grab it.
“Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates…but it does require us to act in our time.”– President Obama