It seems we have forgotten that when Barack Obama assumed the presidency, he was charged with resolving the nastiest set of problems and issues of any incoming commander-in-chief since Franklin D. Roosevelt took office on March 4, 1933. What did he do in response? He immediately jumped into action and orchestrated an unprecedented stimulus package, the auto bailouts, and a major health care bill. Under President Obama's watch, America is experiencing something that it hasn't experienced in ages -- genuine progress. Although we have many more miles to go, we have to remember that Rome was not built in a day. The issues that continually plague our country took decades to develop and will probably take several more decades to fix.
Since he first assumed the role of the presidency in 2009, Barack Obama has had his fair share of dissenters. Some of the criticism is a matter of opinion. (He's too young. He's too inexperienced). Some is so far off base that it is outlandish. (He is a Muslim masquerading as a Baptist. He is really a Kenyan). The worst criticisms of all though are the ones that are readily accepted by Americans who are misinformed. If you want to hate the President, that is your right, but make sure you have the facts straight first.
When people get really hot under the collar about Obama's latest social issue push, they throw out accusations of socialist behavior. If that were really true, he would have nationalized the auto and financial industries instead of offering billions of dollars in bailout money his first year in office. Health care reform is most often referenced in the same sentence as socialism, and used as glaring proof that this President has those tendencies. Obama did not nationalize health care though. He simply made insurance subsidies available and required for all Americans. The effect will actually mean more business for the health care industry and more customers for insurance companies. No government agency is taking over health care services. Obama left that part of the deal in the capable hands of the private businesses that are already established. True socialists are at odds with the latest health care reform, and other Obama initiatives. In fact, the 2008 Socialist Party nominee Brian Patrick Moore calls the President an "insult" to socialism.
Since Obama is a socialist (see above) he therefore wants to nationalize all services and squash out capitalism. Based on numbers alone, such accusations are false. While Obama has been famous for fighting for the 99 percent, he has been good for one-percenters too. In nearly 85 years of existence, Standard & Poor's 500-stock index has only doubled for five presidents. In May, Obama joined names like Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan when that index officially doubled from where it stood when he took office 58 months prior. In fact, the U.S. has outperformed the next nine largest economies of the world on these indexes since 2009.
The president has also worked hard for small businesses, which make up over 90 percent of American companies, by enacting 18 tax cuts and addressed access to capital to the tune of $93 billion in lending through the Small Business Administration. Critics may say that Obama had really nowhere to go but up, given the economy he inherited, and there is some truth in that statement. Still - the road to economic recovery has not been easy and President Obama has shown his business savvy over the past four and a half years.
Despite outcries from the National Rifle Association against President Obama, he has actually been pretty lax on actual gun control legislation. In 2009, he signed a law allowing firearms in national parks. In 2011, the U.S. House passed a law that says a permit to carry a concealed firearm in one state is valid in every other. Obama has not taken any guns away -- if anything, the legislation passed under his administration has been Second Amendment-friendly. His public comments about gun control following tragedies like mass killings in a Colorado movie theater or the death of Trayvon Martin are what get organizations like the NRA riled up but his actual actions (so far) do not back up that passionate rhetoric. Gun lobbyists only real claim to fear when it comes to the president and tight gun control is his Supreme Court nominees -- Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. Both are considered pro-gun control but neither replaced a justice that was anti-gun control. There is still time in the second term for Obama to crack down on access to guns but based on his performance so far, lax gun control is still alive and well in America.
One of the things I admire most about America is the freedom to criticize political leaders and debate issues freely. No person feels the weight of those liberties more than the Commander in Chief. If we are going to exercise those rights though, let's at least address the true actions of the president when we do it.