Few Americans are better off than they were

With only a festive month until 2016, voters across the country are asking themselves that time-honored question, “Am I better off than I was four years ago?”

Unless you are a Middle Eastern jihadist, a Russian strongman, a Mexican coyote, or a race-baiting television personality here in the United States, the answer is “No.”

To say our foreign policy is a disaster would be generous. Under President Barack Obama, we have no foreign policy. That failure is evident in Iraq and Syria, where Islamic State is establishing a caliphate.

Observers from across the spectrum are criticizing Obama’s non-policy. Even blue politicians are blushing red. On cable news this past Sunday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the liberal Democrat from California, and Leon Panetta, Obama’s former secretary of defense, could have passed for Republicans in their disapproval.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is striving mightily to fill the vacuum created by America’s withdrawal from world affairs. When Steve Kroft of CBS News pointed out the obvious — “He’s challenging your leadership, Mr. President” — Obama’s face contorted in displeased surprise. Most Americans felt a pang to see America project such cluelessness.

Back home, we are no closer to solving our immigration problems, even though Democrats controlled the White House, the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate during the first two years of Obama’s presidency. A cynic might conclude the Democrats prefer a festering wound to a remedy, because a remedy would cost them a talking point in the next campaign cycle.

Race relations are bleaker than at any time since the 1960s. This summer, Martin O’Malley, the former Democratic governor of Maryland, actually apologized for having said, “Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.” At the first Democratic presidential debate, only Jim Webb, the former senator from Virginia, could bring himself to agree with the statement “all lives matter.” The others demurred.

Meanwhile, Obama, instead of unifying the country, emerges from his seclusion only to lob rhetorical bombs at Republicans. This president has proven himself The Great Divider indeed.

For the average American worker, life is worse now than it was four years ago. At 62.4 percent, workforce participation is at its lowest rate since 1977, when Jimmy Carter was president. Conversely, at 40.7 percent, workforce participation among Americans 55 years and older is at its highest level since 1961.

People are spending their vigorous years in search of work and their golden years unable to retire.

Life is also worse now for American patriots.

The nation’s performance in the international arena has been embarrassing. We feel like parents watching a child paralyzed onstage, but American lives, standing and treasure are all in play.

So far, the Democratic candidates for president have refrained from criticizing Obama. Look for that restraint to dissolve after the primary.

The 2016 presidential election could hinge on which candidate America trusts to undo Obama’s damage. 

Reprinted from the Colorado Springs Gazette

Distributed by Creators.com

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