For four years, President Barack Obama has had a shot. We, as a collective society, have defined his actions as successes or failures, and we have frequently been very harsh in those judgments. Because of that, I have to put in a word about expectations.
The economy, not only the U.S. economy but the international economy as well, was in a state of devastating decline from 2007 to 2011. We lived through the worst drop in international trade the world has ever seen. The Obama administration has done its best, but we can only expect so much from a government that, compared to other countries in the world, doesn't have very much power to intervene in the economic sphere.
The one crucial factor that a great deal of us are currently overlooking is something I learned from an incredible man named Paul Begala, who came and spoke at my school in September. His message: This is a long game.
We live in a very technologically advanced world. Progress has made instant gratification a reality and that causes us to expect immediate results even when they are simply not realistic. President Obama is a mortal man with the weight of a nation on his shoulders, a mass comprised of a bleak economy, unprecedented debt, foreign entanglements and precarious relationships with other superpowers.
That's a pretty heavy load.
People are scared to trust the president because the way they see it, he has failed them. But four years is just not enough time to do all the rebuilding and renewing that needs to be done, and it doesn't make sense for us to hand the reins over to a less capable and more narrowly-focused man simply because instant gratification has not been ours. Mr. Obama deserves the chance to solidify the endeavors he's begun and put the lessons he's learned into practice.
I am asking you to give him that chance.
Rae Abbott, Baltimore
The writer is a member of the Tulane University class of 2015.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times