Great Expectations?

By Emma Brooks

More and more people seem to be unhappy with Obama and his performance since he was invested last year. People are criticizing his choice of healthcare reforms, the loss of two governor’s races in New Jersey and Virginia is seen as the start of his demise. The New York times is even calling him: “The president whose words once soared.”

I’ve also noticed a few articles on The Vibe commenting on the present state of affairs, particularly within the EU, and it’s made me wonder: why can’t people just be happy with what they’ve got? Only a year ago people were going mad for Obama, were so pleased he had been voted in, were full of hope for the future – now they’re already losing faith in him. Do people really expect politicians to be able to change everything that’s wrong with a click of their fingers?

This, I find unfair. I will admit that politicians aren’t perfect: they make mistakes, sometimes pass controversial laws and initiate changes we are not always happy with. But I think they have to be given some credit for trying, and given some time in which to be able to do what they’ve been asked to. Nowadays it seems that people are so misinformed about politics that they have a distorted vision of how things are meant to happen. They don’t like the current government so they kick them out with a vote of protest, which is in fact not an endorsement of the opposition at all. Then, a few months down the line they start criticizing the new government because they realize they don’t like them either. Actually, they’ve never really known much about politics, but vote for candidates based on charisma.

The fact of the matter is, we will never be fully satisfied with our governments. There will always be reforms we are unhappy with and there will always be those who didn’t want the current government in the first place. But we have to try to be patient and tolerant, and accept that change doesn’t just happen from one day to another. We have to recognize the efforts that are being made and that may not yield instant results, but in the long run may have an important impact.

The same goes for the UK’s involvement in the EU. People are continually finding fault with it, manifesting their dislike for the EU and the fact that it sometimes takes precedence over British law. The EU imposes its will, the EU doesn’t let us do as we want, the EU costs us too much… has it ever occurred to people to take a second to think about all that the EU has achieved since its creation? About what it represents symbolically? In particular, the good that it’s done for so many people and countries since its existence, and the advantages it brings us? People are so quick to criticize but do they ever stop to think how their lives would be if it weren’t for people like Obama, or an institution such as the EU? It would be better if people didn’t have such great expectations, and learnt to be a little more down to earth.

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