Nov 11, 2008

Ahoy, America — Election veers hard to port, Obama victorious

by Tim Mattingly

A din of hope and promises crashed like waves upon the rocks of election 2008. As the electoral tides shifted in Barack Obama’s favor, the conservative campaign of Sen. John McCain was washed out to sea. Thus, America chose its new captain, hoisted anchor and set sail in choppy waters for the next chapter in this nation’s politics.

With a cool autumn breeze in his sails, Obama has charted a course dotted with the multiple promises he has made to the American people. Ahead of the president-elect rise many waves which he must crest and overcome, or risk dashing upon the reefs.
Yet, amidst the storm of political trials comes some hope for the American people, for no seafaring journey is complete without some buried treasure, and for college students, the president-elect has promised just that. Among the sandy political shores sought by Obama is the American Opportunity Tax Credit, a plan to make college more affordable for all students.

This plan is increasingly important, since the cost of attending college has risen by nearly 40 percent in the past five years alone, according to Obama’s official Web site. With the average college bills surging, it is becoming easier for graduating students to be swept off of their feet by an undertow of debt.

To combat the swelling costs of college, Obama’s proposed plan “will ensure that the first $4,000 of a college education is completely free for most Americans,” according to his official Web site. In order to receive this aid, students will be expected to commit to 100 hours of community service.

“We have to make sure every young person can afford to go to a public college or university, if they’ve got the will, if they’ve got the grace,” said Obama in a speech outlining his blueprint for change in education.

If all goes as Obama has planned, not only will students be able to receive a college education, but they will also enjoy a better economy as they graduate.

As of late, the economy’s compass has pointed due south, with little sign of deviating. Over the last 12 months alone, 2.8 million American jobs were lost bringing the nation’s total unemployment count up to 10.1 million, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics. Such hardships, coupled with a drowning stock market, promise a rough economic sea that would test the most seasoned of men.

In order to keep America afloat and patch its economic leaks, Obama promised to steer our country into greener waters, spotted with eco-friendly islands where the country can dock and repair the job market. In order to do so, Obama hopes to create 5 million new “green” jobs, reports his official Web site. In addition to new job creation, the president-elect promises to invest $150 billion in “clean energy.”

While such spending may raise mutinous murmurs within some ranks of American society, such programs will help ensure more jobs for graduating students and a better environment for future generations. At the same time, Obama’s green endeavors help steer America away from money consuming habits, such as its dependency on foreign oil.

It is now more than ever, that this nation, numbering over 305 million souls, is precariously perched on a crow’s nest of uncertainty, looking with hope to the future. The journey will not be easy and the horizon, rife with thundering clouds of recession, layoffs and banking woes looms ahead. Yet with hope, faith and leadership, perhaps we can ride out the storms and enjoy a brighter future.


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