As everyone in the world now knows, Barack Obama has been reelected for a second presidential term. Stepping out on stage to Stevie Wonder’s “Signed Sealed Delivered,” amid a reverberating sea of cheering flag-waving supporters, Obama infused his victory speech with optimistic platitudes saying things such as, “I’ve never been more hopeful about America.” Confident and full of relief that the long fought battle for votes was over, Obama stated, “It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white, or Hispanic or Asian, or Native American, or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.”
Still, after all the celebratory hugs and communal sighs of relief, in the cold light of morning, you have to wonder what exactly these next four years will look like. The economy is improving at a painfully glacial pace, creeping along inch by inch without truly making strides big enough to make a difference to the people that are continuing to file for bankruptcy or foreclosure. College graduates are still embroiled in a desperate fight for unpaid internships, and small businesses still struggle to find the resources to expand. Obama’s bright view of the future is appreciated, but it is crucial that in this next term we remain realistic about the current state of affairs, and that we all work together to improve all the things that are impinging on the greatness of this country.