Thursday, August 06, 2009

No More Rock Star Status Obama?

When American President Barack Obama was announced winner of the last federal American election, he instantly was propelled into rock star-like status. Everywhere he went, he was greeted with throngs of adoring fans, chanting, singing, dancing, there were even people hawking Obama t-shirts, ball caps, and other merchandise with the American leader’s face and catch-phrases.

WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 10:   U.S. President Geo...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Maybe the love affair with America’s first black president is over.

Usually, everything Obama touches turns to gold, he can do no wrong - whatever policy he put forward, we the people were behind him 110 percent.

Not so over his latest big proposal - healthcare reform in America.

Here in Canada, we’ve enjoyed the benefits of having free, universal healthcare to all for decades. Thanks to the Tommy Douglas, the first leader of the New Democratic Party, we Canadians never have to worry about basic healthcare costs. Douglas, known as the father of healthcare, put through similar policies to those U.S. President Obama is now trying to do now.

Douglas had to fight to bring us the universal healthcare we have in Canada, just as President Obama did. But that’s where things turn - Douglas never had a rock star-like status.

That’s why the tides may be turning for American politics - as Americans get used to having President Obama in the White House, growing comfortable

Moore's most recent film, Sicko, released in 2007.Image via Wikipedia

with his speaking style, his image, his slogans, and his way of running the Oval Office.

And that comfort may be costing the American leader some of his clout, because, for the first time, he’s being seriously questioned and opposed on his healthcare reform policies.

Prior to President Obama’s healthcare reform, even those who don’t wear the same color political stripes dared not oppose the Obama Many sweeping the nation.

Not so anymore, or at least not so over President Obama’s healthcare reforms, which are an attempt to ensure every American has access to free, universal, healthcare, as we have here in Canada.

Many look to Canada’s high taxes, and fears that they will encounter the few and far between horror stories, of Canadians having to come to the States, paying big bucks out of their own pockets, to get life saving treatments that just aren’t provided, or provided in time, up here in Canada.

Little do Americans realize that those horror stories are rare, as are the diseases and ailments which they are about.

For the average Canadian, the Medicare system works. We don’t worry about breaking a bone, and having to pay an ambulance attendant cash up front to rush us to the hospital - as we’re rumoured to hear occasionally happen in the States. We don’t have film makers like Michael Moore making documentaries about big American companies, intentionally preventing people from getting the medical attention they need, because it costs too much. We don’t hear about millions of people dying from preventable illness, because they weren’t insured.

Canada’s healthcare system isn’t the best, but it does work.

It would work in the States too, that is if it isn’t used as a political positioning tool to lower President Obama’s clout. Or maybe President Obama has suffered what many put up high on a pedestal suffer - when we realize they are just normal human beings like us, they suddenly fall out of grace, and we don’t value them as highly.

Either way, it looks like President Obama has lost that rock star-like status - which is okay. Now maybe he can get on with being president, instead of having to always act like a celebrity.

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1 comment:

  1. He was bound to become human to people. It would be interesting to see what good it would do to the process down here - some, I think - if Canadians who care helped to counteract the misinformation down here about the Canadian system.