Less than two days left until we say goodbye to Dubya and set a new milestone by inaugurating Barack Obama as President of the United States of America. That is quite a mouthful, President of the United States of America.
You don’t have to spend much time looking around to see descriptions of the POTUS as being the most powerful man in the world. I’d say that it is relatively fair assessment of what comes with being POTUS. However I’d also say that it is not unlimited power. The president is not omnipotent.
So you might ask yourself why I am mentioning any of this. The answer is simple. I have grave concerns about the expectations that some people have of President Obama’s ability to solve the challenges facing him.
Far too many people talk about him in almost mythical terms. I am gravely concerned about what is going to happen if he doesn’t meet their expectations. And to be honest I don’t think that he will. That is not a knock against him. I am not talking about qualifications and whether he has them or not. That discussion is done.
I am convinced that he is a smart guy and that his heart is in the right place. But there is only so much that can be done. And it seems to me that there are people with unrealistic expectations about what he will be able to accomplish. We have the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a very tough economic situation. Not to mention all of the fuss over what people think that he’ll bring to the ME peace process.
There is enough work there to last four terms, let alone one. So while I very much want him to succeed I do not expect it all to work. I expect that he is going to fail in some areas. And so I wonder what sort of response he is going to receive when this happens.
Let me be clear, I don’t think that anyone could walk in on January 20th and fix everything that needs to be adjusted. There is simply too much.
So here is what I am hoping happens. I am hoping that the man exceeds the expectations of those who wish that he fails and that those who idolize him gain a more realistic perspective. Add to that my wish and fervent desire that the polarization we have seen under Dubya and Clinton disappears.
It is time for people to pull together and stop pulling apart, at least that is my dream. In a couple of days we’ll get a chance to try and find out if some dreams can come true.