The Baker Orange

Politicians forget about the bigger picture

Story by Taylor Shuck, Editor

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If you’ve read any of my other columns, you’d know that I’m a registered Democrat. I believe that women should be paid fairly, that taxes should be split evenly throughout America and that the middle class is the most important.

Hearing President Barack Obama speak on Thursday at the Anschutz Sports Pavilion at the University of Kansas was an amazing experience for me, not just because he’s the figurehead of our country, but because of how natural and believable he sounds.

The most important point of his speech that stood out to me wasn’t one that spoke to the percentage of tax breaks he proposes, or even the idea of a free two-year college education, but the mere idea that he understood the complications that come with politics. Most of us young adults hardly even understand the competition; we just see older men and women bickering about minor details, instead of actually trying to produce change.

In his speech, Obama threw this out to the Republicans.

“The answer can’t just be no to everything.”

Shots fired.

Yes, he is making a dig at his cohorts, and maybe it’s extreme, but he’s also hitting on the fact that, in politics, we focus on the word “no” and forget sometimes to say “yes.”

Most of his suggestions are no-brainers, which he said in his speech. As a whole, I think Republicans and Democrats can agree that in the 21st century, women should be making the same amount of money as men do. They probably would also agree that everyone deserves an equal chance at success. In the world of politics, however, these no-brainer ideas don’t seem to matter much.

As Americans, we’re all supposed to be on the same team, (dare I say #1?), so why aren’t we trying to let everyone have a chance at the American Dream?

Maybe Obama’s use of “folks” and walking out with rolled-up sleeves is all part of his middle-class campaign. Maybe I’m falling for another bit of political posturing that is supposed to persuade me to agree with what he is saying, but he’s right. At some point, we have to start making changes if we want to see results.

With Congress constantly in gridlock, it puts us as a country between a rock and a hard place. Until they can come up with their own ideas to put into motion, free health care, education and child-care is the best we have. (And what’s so wrong with that?)