It is no easy job being the United States President. Clinching the Presidency was in fact easier than running the Presidency would be. The responsibilities are graver than challenges and running the Presidency is almost akin to walking the road of thorns. Barack Obama would not be the first President to handle the domestic and external challenges facing the United States, but he would certainly be the first President expected to right the wrongs of his predecessors. Righting the wrongs is a fine balancing act for the distinction between the two is largely merged till the cracks begin to appear as consequences later. Therefore, Barack Obama must be guided by an approach that accounts for long term objectives rather than short term policy measures.
If Barack Obama made the 2009 New Year Resolutions, as he certainly would, he is more likely to keep the fact of the current recession foremost in his mind. Here are his ten resolutions:
1.Lift the nation out of recession: The United States was the worst sufferer of 1929 Wall Street crash. The memories of 1929 are etched fresh in the national psyche. The future policy decisions must ensure a limited state intervention the private economy. Complete market freedom resulted in unprecedented financial distribution with an expectation of easy market recovery. However, the unregulated credits to the various sectors of economy especially housing, retail, and banking couldn’t be stretched beyond a limit resulting in foreclosures and bad debts. Therefore, Obama’s first New Year resolution is to bail out the sinking financial agencies and put in place stronger policy regime against future economic derailments.
2.Strengthen Democratic Fabric: The US policy makers invariably end up alienating their citizens whenever the state goes for too much policing. The U.S policies in Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq have proved unpopular. The domestic security measures in the wake of 9/11 and the treatment to the POWs got a bad press. Barack Obama would certainly find himself tossing and turning over Iraq and Afghanistan. There is no easy alternative for a nation – sole superpower – claiming to champion global democracy. Even as the policy of external intervention might be unpopular, it is the necessary evil that the US president must live with. However, Barack Obama must fight his battle within and outside democratically. Americans would love him for honoring the rights due to every citizen.
3.The American war against terrorism must go on: Since Bush championed the war against terrorism, his popularity grew immensely. He had promised to punish the criminals of 9/11. His popularity dipped, however, when the results of his campaign got no positive results in his favor despite immense men, material, and financial investments in the war. The nuclear, biological and chemical weapons of Iraq highlighted as threat to humanity were never found nor was the Al-Quaeda terrorism machine defanged. Obama must be obliged to give to Iraq a democratic, strong, and sovereign government and quit out of there honorably as a part of his New Year pledge, and dismantle the terrorism war machine in operation from any part of the world.
4.Strengthen the Basic Education: Education must remain a strong priority with Mr. President as it was with his predecessor. Reports after reports have exposed the chinks in the state system of education. The scores of American students in Princeton tests are found low in comparison to international students. The policy of “Back to Basics” must not only continue but must be strengthened along with the greater participation of the communities in the role of education.
5.Extend Medical Coverage to All: Over the years the medical bill of an average American has mounted to an extent that it is increasingly found unmanageable for a large segment of residents. The employers have found ways to extricate themselves of this responsibility through ingenious accounting practices. There are large segments of poor and the racial other that cannot afford medical expenses. Mr. President is obliged to extend medical coverage to every one that resides in America including the immigrants. The pharmaceutical companies are known to operate at high profits of up to 3000 percent. A determined U.S. President can certainly intervene effectively to break the monopoly of medicine mafia.
6.Clean Environment: Planet earth is threatened by pollution. Obama can certainly enforce a green campaign that begins with a pledge that President and his staff will remain committed to using environment friendly products. They will not cause pollution nor favor a policy that directly or indirectly leads to pollution. The next five years should be devoted to a vigorous search of alternative green fuel that is not a restrain on limited resources. As it is Obama is known to take personal interest in car industry. Bailing them out of their bad financial patch will offer Obama to leverage his influence into making them adopt green practices.
7.Abolish Death Penalty: The United States of America is one of the few modern states that still retains death penalty. Obama has the advantage of legal background. He is also a pro-human rights campaigner. He must take a positive decision on this issue as on the other judicial issues.
8.Offer Biden Space but Keep Your Own Counsel in Larger Interest: Obama will do well to offer Biden political space that he deserves but he must stick to his own counsel when the interest of larger number of Americans is at stake. The overriding business interests of his team members and the other pressure groups must be weighed against the larger social interest.
The American President may be the most powerful man on earth, but he is equally a family man that must be a loving husband and a caring father. He must make at least two pledges for his personal space.
9.Must Find Time to Dine Together with Family at Least Once a Week: As it is the job of Obama will hardly leave him any time for his personal life unless he makes this pledge. Obama is lucky to have two daughters, a loving wife and the extended family including grand parents, that is “one man melting pot”. The President will do well to keep his family in humor on their dinner table. A successful man in family is more likely to make a successful president.
10.Do Not Forget to Gift Family Members on Special Occasions: Obama has done well to plan a family Christmas together. Malia and Natasha deserve birthday gifts while Michelle deserves wedding anniversary gifts over and above the special gifts on occasions of Christmas and the other festive occasions. In bestowing gifts to his family members the President cannot forget his larger responsibility toward the nation for he certainly knows he has a global family to look after to.