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Questo articolo è stato pubblicato il 08 novembre 2012 alle ore 04:59.
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Obama won. The atmosphere and the weather of his victory day, however, were very different from those of four years ago. In 2008, the night when he won was mild, with a full moon shining like in daylight over Grant Park, and not only Democrats but America as a whole was celebrating. After all, in that campaign Obama stressed that there were no Republican states or Democratic states, only the United States of America. And America as a whole celebrated at sunrise what seemed like a new era. Yesterday it was cold and it rained in Chicago, and celebrations were confined to the local convention center. Only Democrats took part in the celebrations, happy that their enemy didn’t win.

Yes. On Tuesday, Obama didn't win; Romney lost.

A president who in four years increased the debt by 50 percent, wasn’t able to reduce unemployment below 7.8 percent and didn’t submit a serious plan to reduce the explosion of health care costs for seniors (the health insurance fund for seniors will become insolvent in 11 years) could have been defeated easily.

Romney was not able to do it, even if Americans renewed their faith in Republican candidates, who kept a majority in the House. Technocratic Romney was defeated. He was competent but unable to speark to Americans’ hearts. Romney’s tactics and his inclination to adapt to voters’ moods, in addition to his inability to spur confidence, were defeated. Romney was defeated because he was dominated by that bigot portion of America that believes that conception following rape is a “gift from God” (as a Republican candidate for the Senate from Indiana said) and that the best sex eduction is teaching abstinence. 

Despite this victory, it will be hard for President Obama to manage his second term, especially with a Republican-controlled House. It will be even harder since his program is not clear. One of the few clear proposals of his program is to increase taxes on those who make more than $250,000 a year. This measure falls short of fixing the federal deficit, which amounts around 10 percent and doesn’t seem to ever decrease. An accommodating fiscal policy could have worked at the peak of the worst economic crisis since 1929, but after four years it risks jeopardizing the financial stability of the U.S.

Obama’s electoral platform contains useful proposals to fight unemployment—for example, a plan to retrain 2 million unemployed people and hire more math and science teachers. It contains $75 billion of investment in infrastructure. But that’s the old, tax-and-spend strategy that failed in Zapatero’s Spain and is failing in Hollande’s France. And we’re far from the new way of doing politics that was promised four years ago. This new way of doing politics didn’t affect financial regulation either. The Dodd-Frank Act certainly had positive aspects, such as the creation of a consumer protection agency, but doesn’t solve the issue of “too big to fail.” And it’s hard to think that the same administration that passed it could change it. 

The only hope is that Obama, free from electoral concerns, will finally become what he promised he would be during his first campaign: a bipartisan president who treats his voters as adults and responsible citizens, telling them the truth (even when it’s bitter) instead of selling illusions. If he wants to do that, he should appoint Erskine Bowles, co-president of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, Treasury secretary, and he should commit to approving the conclusions of the commission. They are very serious and brave proposals to fix the federal budget, including the elimination of subsidies to agriculture, an increase in the retirement age and higher pension contributions in order to sustain Social Security. It would hard for Republicans to oppose this plan, since they contributed to it. 

Obama, freed from the need of collecting more campaign contributions, could also devote himself to reforming the campaign funding system. The average Congress member must organize 400 fundraising events a year (more than one a day). It’s a dreadful system in which companies feel blackmailed and Congress members are forced to beg for money, a system that nobody can escape from, since at stake is re-election For this reason, only a president in his second term can promote this kind of reform.

If only he worked on these reforms and became the president he promised he would be, Obama could be remembered in history for more than just being the first African-American president. 

Versione Italiana

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