Tuesday, May 21, 2013
The 2012 presidential election will certainly be one of the most contentious in history. Americans are deeply polarized. Some strongly support President Obama's perspective on government, and many deeply oppose it. Many appreciate Obama's leadership, and some see him as highly flawed.
Barack Obama “was elected to get the economy on the road to prosperity,” but unemployment and GDP statistics show that he hasn’t succeeded, a reader says.
2012 File Photo/The Associated Press
While there are many opinions about the Obama presidency, there is only one set of facts.
Barack Obama was elected in 2008 because of the meltdown of the financial system and the resulting collapse of the economy. He was elected to get the economy on the road to prosperity. Nearly four years later and three and a half years after the end of the recession, the economy remains in shambles.
We have anemic economic growth. We have had 42 consecutive months and counting of unemployment rates higher than 8 percent. No president in modern history has been re-elected with an economic record this weak (2.1 percent real gross domestic product growth in the last two and a half years and 1.5 percent in the most recent quarter).
Americans have expected more, and they should expect more. They have not in the past and should not now accept excuses instead of performance.
Whatever your views are of Obama and his outlook on government, he has unfortunately failed at the job for which he was elected.
Liberal, moderate or conservative, failed leadership is failed leadership. The government will never work effectively if we do not hold leaders accountable for their failures. If we reward failure by re-electing Obama, we should only expect more of the same.
Whether rich or poor or in the middle class, Americans cannot afford a second Obama term. It is time for a change.
Twenty-five years ago we had Ronald Reagan, Johnny Cash and Bob Hope.
Now Obama, no cash and no hope.
Old Orchard Beach
Critic of NRA gets it wrong about Constitution, gun laws
In a letter to the editor (Maine Sunday Telegram, Aug. 5), a writer opined that the wording of the Second Amendment ("A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.)" precludes private ownership of guns for self-defense, reserves gun ownership to the militia and defined "militia" as law enforcement agencies.
The writer thought: a) the National Rifle Association's defense of the Second Amendment de facto "gives every citizen ... license ... to kill a fellow human being if in his sole judgment he feels threatened"; b) the NRA would better spend its money hiring more state and local police so citizens won't have to defend themselves when necessary; and c) automatic and semiautomatic guns should be declared illegal.
There's a lot of confusion here.
• The U.S. Supreme Court, not the NRA, ruled that the Second Amendment confers on the individual citizen the right to keep and bear arms. State and local governments can establish reasonable rules governing where and by whom guns cannot be used.
• A militia is actually an organized or unorganized armed force. It is not the police.
• The states, not the NRA, legislate conditions under which deadly force is justified. Merely feeling vaguely threatened is not enough; the threat must be immediate and without the possibility of retreat.
• State and local governments authorize, hire and maintain civilian police forces. The NRA does not.
(Continued on page 2)