In 2008, Barack Obama persuaded voters by promising a better future through “hope and change”. Implied in his rhetoric was that there is no need for sacrifice, hard work, or tough reforms. Leave it to the government to work this out for you, and perhaps hand out some benefits along the way, and we will live happily ever after.
It’s hard to be surprised that this is a successful campaign-strategy in a culture where kids learn to celebrate themselves and instant gratification more than they learn to appreciate hard work and discipline. Nowhere is this culture more apparent than in the current education system in America. Here’s what a recent study said about letter grades on American four-year colleges and universities:
Most recently, about 43 percent of all letter grades given were A’s, an increase of 28 percentage points since 1960 and 12 percentage points since 1988. The distribution of B’s has stayed relatively constant; the growing share of A’s instead comes at the expense of a shrinking share of C’s, D’s and F’s. In fact, only about 10 percent of grades awarded are D’s and F’s.
Meanwhile, American students have remained mediocre in an international perspective without showing any significant signs of improvement all the way back to the 1960s. So instead of improving student performance, American schools have simply decided to give the students the grade that the students believe that they deserve for the least effort possible.
Eventually those who have been raised in this education system have grown up and started to pay attention to politics. Just like in school, they expect their politicians to praise them and give them the highest possible grade. Imagine the appeal of a candidate for the presidency who tells his supporters that “we are the people we have been waiting for” and promises to make all their problems go away. Just like that, without much sacrifice at all. It’s almost as if he was one of their own: Someone who has gone through life in a system where diversity and instant gratification is more important than merit and hard work.
If Candidate Obama would have been honest the story would have been different. He would have told the American people that, in fact, we’re screwed unless serious reform is implemented. Reforms that will require sacrifice from every American. For 2012 the President could have entered the campaign by talking to American voters as responsible grown-ups, presenting serious proposals in order to deal with the gigantic fiscal hole that the nation has dug. Instead, the President decided to build his campaign on distractions and issues that, in perspective, really are non-issues. The President could have gone down the more serious and positive route with actual solutions and Americans probably would have been able to forgive his record and lack of accomplishments. Instead, the President faces a tough re-election campaign where his only hope is to fight dirty against a candidate that strongly appeals to moderates and independents.
America remains a center-right country with a considerable proportion of the populace that has managed to resist the indoctrination of the left in the education system. These are the people that Romney should attempt to appeal to. For example, Romney should have the courage to stand up and tell the truth: “We’re screwed.”
If the American people still decides to put their faith in the empty promises of the Campaigner-In-Chief they deserve the fiscal Armageddon that is coming their way.