Drews last column on politics ever*

Published 11:59 am Friday, November 28, 2008

I have never been more proud to be an American than at 11 p.m. on November 4, when it was officially announced that we had elected Barack Obama the President of the United States of America. Regardless of your political affiliation, you&squo;ve got to step back for a moment and marvel at how far we as a nation have come. The fact that in a span of less than fifty years, we&squo;ve gone from segregation to the election of a black president just blows my mind, especially when you think about the fact that we&squo;ve only elected one President who was Catholic, let alone a non-Caucasian. Regardless of how the next four years play out, we will forever remember November 4 as the day that everything changed, and for that, all of us as Americans should be proud.

But now that we have elected Senator Obama to the nation&squo;s highest office, he&squo;s got a lot of work to do. Allow me to put it this way‐if America were a car, it would be a 1967 Dodge Dart with a rear fender made out of dynamite, no engine, a radio that only picked up show tunes, and seats that had gigantic spikes protruding from their fabric. Now imagine that this car were also deeply in debt to China and was involved in two wars, one of which held little to no popular appeal. This is just a hypothetical illustration and in no way, shape, or form reflects any of my actual feelings towards America and/or Dodge Darts. George W. Bush is more or less handing over the keys to this Dodge Dart to Barack Obama and saying, &dquo;Good luck, buddy!&dquo;

So what does Barack Obama have to do to fix this Dodge Dart that is the current state of the Union?&bsp; Well for one, he&squo;s got to figure out a way to pull the economy up from this recession‐which, if you listen to the economists instead of the politicians, America is currently undergoing (we&squo;ve been trending downward ever since the dot-com bubble burst circa Y2K, and this is just a bottoming out of that natural economic cycle).&bsp; In part, he&squo;s proposing to do this by raising minimum wage (good) and lowering taxes for those who make less than $200,000 per year (also good).

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More importantly (in my opinion, at least) is the whole issue of Iraq and Afghanistan. There is a high degree of interconnectivity between America&squo;s debt and our continued military presence in these two nations, because every month, we spend roughly one billion dollars maintaining our presence there.

Now I know that it&squo;s impossible just to pack up and leave due to the power vacuum that our exit would engender, but the sooner we get out, the better. Once we get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, it makes it a lot easier to fix our economic problems.

So, I&squo;d like to end this column with a personal message to Obama, as I assume that he spends his Fridays eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Tryon Daily Bulletin.

Mr. Obama, congratulations.&bsp; You&squo;ve been given a mandate by the American people to help fix the problems plaguing today&squo;s America. You ran on a platform of &dquo;Change&dquo; and &dquo;Hope.&dquo; Now let&squo;s see you synthesize those ideals into concrete actions. I for one think that you&squo;ll make us all proud.

*Until next time