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“When times change, so must we,” said President Barack Obama.
Times HAVE changed.
Today, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the country’s first African-American president, was inaugurated for a second term and defended women’s rights, gays and lesbians, and immigrants in his inaugural speech.
The poet who spoke “One Today” was the youngest and the first Hispanic and gay poet to speak on Inauguration Day.
This day will definitely go down in history.
I don’t think even the “I Have a Dream” legend could have foreseen that.
President Obama, in all his optimism for a more united tomorrow, the same optimism that caught the nation’s attention in 2008 and helped reelect him, is the face of this change, reform, and equality in modern times.
His well-defined character tells us he genuinely cares for the American people. He does well in triggering our optimism with hope and trust and very motivational speeches. The crowd loves him and, most importantly, believes him. He persuades us with ideas and inspires us with promises of a better tomorrow, with a more united people.
But can he deliver? I am asking myself the same question as I did before he was reelected and in my very first blog post titled, “Can Obama deliver in his next term?”
His speech today was one of the best in history. It symbolized the changing modern times with new issues to recognize, including human equality. But is he the man that will lead us to that better tomorrow? Does he have the boldness to execute what his character promises? Or is his apparent grit just for show?
“To me this election was more than a vote for a person, we voted for what country we wanted to be,” said Lynnette Acosta, the National Co-Chair for Obama for America.
And the people, like Acosta, trusted Obama was the adequate candidate to pave the path for that future. So Obama needs to work on justifying that second chance.
I am not feeling that press for changes from him. To be brutally honest, I sometimes feel a tease in his promises. They are merely a delay that work towards inspiring the country but won’t last long if changes aren’t at least in progress. He risks becoming a “lame duck” president if he doesn’t use his power.
The Hispanic community gave him 71% of votes in hopes of seeing immigration reform that are long overdue, for example.
Republican pressure is proving to be a force Obama can’t wrestle with—although, I did love the “you first” standpoint towards stubborn Republicans regarding the fiscal cliff negotiation.
That’s the very audacity I am talking about. He needs to continue with this “disciplined and unyielding” attitude towards decision-making and delivering the progress he referenced in his inaugural speech.
Much of the country stands with him and the modern issues ache for his recognition and reform.
So let these four years mean something for the American people. Let his leadership be a realization of his potential, a reflection of his romantic ideals for freedom, democracy, and equality, and a fulfillment of the America he envisioned during his two-term presidency.
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