Obama must face problems

Keith Kaczmarek

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Mr. President, I must admit that I’ve always been a fan. I respect your rhetoric, I admire your politics, and I recognize your place in history.

As I watched the State of the Union Address of 2011, I thought that you hit all the right marks. The people want jobs, safety, and the promise that we are educating, innovating, and otherwise paving the way to ensure that the ever-nebulous American Dream remains a reality. We even want to come to some sort of agreement with our fellow Americans who share this land, but not our particular political opinions.

That being said, it’s time to man up. There are certain truths that need to be addressed, offered in no particular order:

1. If you want careers in science and education to suddenly become popular again then you need to recognize that, considering the advanced degrees required and debt accumulated, they don’t pay well and are hard to get.

While full-time and tenured educators may make respectable wages, the entry-level educator is making slave wages if they can find a job at all. I personally have seen fine educators shuffled from college to college simply because they could not play the tenure game, and it is a loss to us all. Only the most idealistic go into those fields and they pay a high price, and that needs to change because finding a good educator who is also an idealist is like asking lightning to strike twice.

Also, if you want children to start emulating great scientists instead of athletes in the NFL, then scientists need to start making NFL wages.

The only way to do that is to reform intellectual property law so that corporations do not own everything created by scientists who are drawing a salary even when they do stuff in their own garage and on their own time. Allow the great inventors of our time to actually reap the rewards of their genius.

2. Boldness got you elected and boldness will get you reelected. It’s not a political failure to have a great idea shot down by petty politics, but a political strength that can be used to show that your opponents need to be voted out of office.

Your political opponents are not going to let you do anything innovative. They have decided to salt the earth of the political landscape so that no idea from your administration is going to have a chance to succeed regardless of the merits. This behavior may seem criminal at worse and merely shortsighted at best, but it is a fact that your political opponents don’t want your resume to get any shinier regardless of the cost to the country.

You really need to call them on that.

Shame them into working for the interests of this country. Reason and rhetoric failed, so now every time they threaten to filibuster every bill until they get more tax cuts for the rich or they pass a useless and costly repeal bill that has no chance of being made into law, you need to highlight their folly to the American people. Hopefully by the next election cycle, we’ll end up with new politicians who actually want to address the needs of the nation.

3. Shut down Guantanamo or give those guys a trial, end both wars, end the domestic surveillance started by Bush, and rethink the endless war on terror that has no win or even lose conditions.

Our diplomatic efforts might go a little further if the world didn’t see us as a burgeoning police state with grand delusions.

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