Today is election day, the day Americans get to choose their next leader. This election is considered by many to be one of the most important in recent memory. This is evidenced by the record number of voters expected at the polls this year. With the economy tanking, and so many other problems looming in the U.S., Americans are looking for the new president to come in and make everything better. A lot is going to be expected of the new president, and it certainly is not going to be easy to deliver. This begs the question: Does the next president even stand a chance for success?
My first thought on this is, not really. I don’t think the new president, be it Barack Obama or John McCain, has much hope to be remembered as a successful president. The situation they are going to come into is just too problematic. We are already scheduled to add another $2 trillion to the national debt next year, according to Goldman Sachs as reported by the Wall Street Journal. With this debt level already basically committed, the new president would be hard-pressed to justify even more spending. That means that many promised programs will likely get shelved. While this would certainly be for the greater good, people won’t necessarily remember that part. What they remember is what life was like for them during the term of the previous president. Considering the factors we are faced with today, I don’t see how life is going to get better for Americans, and this is likely to reflect poorly on the new president.
Really, I feel bad for whoever becomes our president-elect today. It was not their failed policies that put the U.S. in the place it is today, but they certainly will have to deal with the mess. They don’t have a hard act to follow, and they will likely be remembered more fondly than their predecessor, but with their hands essentially tied behind their backs it will be difficult for them to be remembered for much of anything beyond the man who preceded them, George W. Bush.
The next president is going to inherit one of the toughest jobs of all time. Americans want change and the president is going to be pressured to deliver, and quickly, without selling out America’s future generations. How are they going to do it? Honestly, I have no idea, and I certainly do not envy the situation they are faced with. I look forward to seeing how they handle it, though, and I wish them the best of luck. No matter which candidate is elected, I know I’m looking forward to change. I am tempering my expectations somewhat, considering the circumstances, but at this point we are in need of new leadership and I hope America chooses the right man for the job.