The current debacle of a failed web site is really a story of how those lacking knowledge of American history fail to grasp the dynamics of change in this society. The presidency of Abraham Lincoln witnessed not merely the end of slavery, but vast railroad construction, the Homestead Act which transformed farm ownership, education change and economic changes emerging from military spending. The presidency of Theodore Roosevelt demonstrated how a clever president could dominate the debate on rights of workers and changes in safety for those who toil in factories as well as massive development of secondary education. The New Deal transformed American society including the new Social Security Act for the elderly. Lyndon Johnson pushed through the concept of civil rights and a host of other economic assistance to the poor and children. Along came Barack and his legacy is still in doubt. Where did he go wrong?
1. He never studied prior reform programs and why they succeeded.
2. He failed to be a leader of the debate regarding health reform.
3. He failed to make clear to the American people that he was fighting against forces hostile to the middle class and workers. How could anyone proposing laws that aid the poor wind up leaving millions believing he was hurting their interests?
4. Barack Obama lacked political leadership. He never engaged in open debate about his ideas. To this day, few Americans actually know the meaning of the Affordable Care Act.
5. He attempted too much too soon. The original Social Security Act only covered about 50% of the population. Less sometimes is more. He should have proceeded with care.
6. He failed to convey from day one how the law benefited Americans. He allowed Republicans to define the law.
7. Barack Obama is a nice guy, but not much of a political leader.