Why do Republicans/conservatives always criticize Democrats/liberals for wanting bigger government (we’ll set aside for a moment the fact that no one “wants” bigger government) when they are all to happy to let the government dictate who you can marry, what substances you may (and may not) use, and what a woman may (or may not) do with an unexpected or life-threatening pregnancy? Why do they always talk about freedom, and yet support the Patriot Act (which certainly curtails our freedoms), refuse to fund health care programs for the disadvantaged (how are you free when you can’t access even basic care?), refuse to adequately fund education (an ignorant people is an enslaved people) and refuse to let individuals live their lives according to what works best for them? If people want to marry a person of their own sex, smoke pot, or terminate a pregnancy, what business is it of ours, really? How is it that we can spend obscene amounts of money on a war that is accomplishing very little for any parties involved, yet we can’t spare a fraction of that to care for the poor and sick? How has our government served US over the past 8 years? I believe that any government should only be as big as it needs to be to address the needs of its people. Our government today is far too bloated and yet it utterly fails to help the majority of Americans.

People accused Obama of being a socialist, despite the fact that they couldn’t really articulate what socialism really is. While I did not agree with the bailout package, it’s worth mentioning that both candidates voted for it. Furthermore, McCain’s solution to the housing crisis was to pay the banks the value of the home’s mortgage, and not the value of the home itself, keeping prices artificially high, which means this so-called American Dream of owning a home would still be out of reach for many working people. Let me spell this out: Pumping in money to regulate the value of homes for the sake of the banks helps no one but the banks. I realize there are strong Wall Street-Main Street connections, but over the past six years, Wall Street prospered, but this prosperity did not trickle down to Main Street in any concrete way. Sure there was more credit available to more people, but as we’ve discovered, this was not real money. Wages, adjusted for inflation, are actually below the levels they were at 8 years ago. This volatile cocktail of less actual money; more easy credit; a consumer-obsessed, materialistic society; and a president who (quite irresponsibly) encouraged spending as a patriotic duty has given us quite the hangover, and it will take years before we will recover.

Do I think Obama will fix this problem? No, certainly not on his own. Despite what many Republicans seem to be sarcastically claiming, most of us (and by this I mean Obama supporters) don’t believe that he is the Messiah or that he will solve our problems for us. However, as with the current administration, the President and his staff set the tone for government and how things will be run. If Obama’s campaign is any indication, I predict that an Obama presidency will get things done efficiently and effectively, but it will take people at all levels working towards restoring this country’s peace, prosperity, and reputation to make it happen.