Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I Don't Drink and Vote

The unedited (better) version of my op-ed in this morning's edition of The GW Hatchet:

I’m not sure what other contributors to this column may be drinking, but in response to the question posed here last Thursday “Are we hung over from Obama-mania yet?” I must say I don’t remember ever being drunk.

It seems some individuals will deny the fact that the election of a person whose campaign gave hope to millions could cause such a (joyful and euphoric, not “drunken” or “mob” like) ruckus as the one witnessed last November on this campus. While I for one felt an overwhelming sensation of patriotic pride while belting “The Star-Spangled Banner” outside the White House with my fellow citizens (sorry, socialist America-haters), I guess such revelry doesn’t sit well with some people who would much rather stay in their dorm rooms brooding over their defeat, hatching plans to bring down the Obama scourge.

The clear-eyed, level-headed Republicans who warned us all of our impending doom at the hands of Obama now claim that America is “waking up” from the trance-like stupor Barack the Magician hypnotized us into last summer. But remember when the previous president’s numbers began to slip as he started making tough choices with big consequences? He was proudly hailed as The Decider who was uninterested in his popularity but rather in doing what was necessary and right to strengthen America. Today, those same heroic defenders point to this president’s lower approval numbers as an unmistakable sign that the country is finally getting over the “hysteria” of “Obama-mania.”

And while most of us are too young to remember, a quick study of political history will remind us that when two Republican presidents won the youth vote resoundingly in the 1980s, young voters were considered savvy, intelligent, and energetic by the same people who mock, insult, and dismiss our generation’s political motivations today.

These same sages (who have the impeccable track record during the past eight years of advocating for bad policies and supporting Miss South Carolina for vice president) exercised such admirable caution in their unappeasable opposition to the economic stimulus package, which they consider a failed initiative that has had a “negligible” impact on the economy. But as the Wall Street Journal and others have recently reported, the stimulus money spent so far has actually helped stabilize the economy and the promise of more funding may spur two to three percentage points of economic growth over the next year. The truth is Republicans bet on this plan failing and lost; as the economy continues to recover, their supposedly sensible “nay” votes ring hollow.

The Wise Ones have also highlighted the apparent hypocrisy of a once “anti-war” candidate reengaging the fight in Afghanistan. But what they fail to remember is that this president did not run an anti-war campaign. Barack Obama, who while in the minority opposed the misguided war in Iraq, promised to responsibly reduce combat forces in that country while simultaneously re-committing troops to the “war of necessity” in Afghanistan. Us “anti-war liberals” didn’t vote for Barack Obama because he was anti-war, but rather because he was anti-the wrong war. We voted for him because in his opposition to the wrong war, he demonstrated sound and, one would say, wise judgment.

Those who understood candidate Obama and his positions still strongly support President Obama and his decisions. I don’t feel duped or cheated, and if I ever feel hung over it’s likely due to my choice of beverages, not political candidates. Some say it’s the spiked Obama-Aid talking, but I hate to break this to them; my support and continued support of this president was and still is stone-cold sober.

-Eshawn Rawlley, a senior majoring in political science, is the President of The Enosinian Society and a member of the GW College Democrats

Step into the rain: secondrain.blogspot.com


  1. This scenario happens after every election: a president actually starts doing things, pushing policies and their agenda, and some people don't like it because it differed from a campaign promise or it's not what they want, so the president's popularity goes down. For any first term president hoping to run for a second term, it can be troublesome. I think the Obama team is very conscious of his image and how slipping poll numbers affect that.

    The "mania" to which the columnist was referring to was the unprecedented support for a candidate, which no matter what party the candidate is from, should be viewed with a healthy amount of skepticism. There will always be some people that get carried away by candidates and think they're the be-all end-all solution to our problems. Not everyone falls into that category, which I think that columnist forgot. There are certain things in the media that add to this perception of a "Obamania"--endlessly reporting about how the man slapped a fly, or how Michelle's shorts were too short one day. Those things are trivial, and I would think people would rather hear about what the President is doing about taxes and healthcare or what causes the First Lady is getting behind rather than the latest dress she bought from J. Crew.

    Anyway, well-written piece, my love. I liked your wit, and I'm sorry the Hatchet can't catch typos!

  2. The Hatchet kills wit like Obama kills flies.

    I love blaming the media.