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Did Barack steal from me?

…I’ll leave it up to you to figure it out.

Yesterday, my much delayed fourth column of the semester was published. I had been working on this idea after a conversation with an administrator at UK about waiting on patience for the process of diversity to work itself out. I told her I would write a column about it and blam–a month later I finally did it!

The basic premise is that patience needs to be exercised more often than it is. After watching President Obama get up and say something similar in his news conference last night, I felt slightly brilliant, although my idea of patience was also recommended with the University of Kentucky’s Top 20 Plan and Billy Gillispie’s tenure as head coach. Anyways, here is an article from NPR that touches on Obama’s message of patience. Also, below is part 1 of the news conference video. (You can watch the subsequent parts on youtube and I will update the video when the full program is uploaded on youtube):

Americans should be patient before bashing stimulus plan

In math, you have order of operations; with legality, you have due process; and in meetings, you have rules of order. Almost every aspect of life has a certain protocol, and in most cases it’s set in place for a reason. You wouldn’t paint your house without primer, just like you wouldn’t try to paint over wet paint. But in a lot of cases, we do as our media highlights the instantaneous attacks on ideas and policies that do not have an immediate impact. Impatience permeates through our collective in such a way that we are constantly throwing a new coat of paint on an idea for which the old paint has yet to dry.

Major issues such as the direction Kentucky should go for coaching, the top 20 plan, and our nation’s economic stimulus plan are clear examples of three ambitious plans attempting to bring about a positive change in a major way. UK Athletics hopes to resurrect a proud college basketball powerhouse, UK administration hopes to initiate the arrival of a university teeming with potential for the highest level prestige, and our government is attempting to revitalize the greatest nation in the world.

Regardless of what you believe, all three situations should be resolved, and it is apparent that none of the three problems have quick fixes. College basketball has become the most competitive collegiate sport, and each year more and more teams seemingly have a shot at a coveted NCAA title. Universities across the country devote countless resources to becoming the best institution they can be, and in order to catch the cream of the crop, some time will be needed to make up for the difference. Finally, our nation cannot reverse the terrible decisions made by all parties that have driven us to the state that it has fallen without as much, if not more, time than it took to get to the current deteriorated state.

What is so telling about our society, especially in relation to these three particular issues, is the fact that if you were to pick up a newspaper or tune into a media outlet, or have a casual conversation with the average person, you would see more patience to rebuilding a basketball program than a desire to let the top 20 plan start to meet its goals or for the stimulus plan to start restoring our economy. Now, all three seem to have enough of a negative shadow cast upon them from various directions, but how is it that with sports, we have more of the necessary patience to allow a coach to implement a system, without having patience for our university’s plan for ascension and our stimulus plan is getting killed?

Regardless of how you believe the coaching situation should be handled, how the university should proceed as an institution or what is the best way to repair our economy, you have to acknowledge that there has to be time for big issues like this to work. Furthermore, if you are constantly throwing negativity onto the fire, it will not help anything. A few weeks ago the de facto Republican Party leader Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted Barack Obama to fail. How does that help this nation? How does it help us if we spend our time being negative, coming up with ideas to thwart what is going on around us?

There is a clear difference between practicing patience and being too stubborn to change. There is also a difference between making positive change and change just for the sake of change. Practical judgment has to be exercised when making big decisions about a coach, a direction of a university and a stimulus plan for a nation like the United States. Even if there are other ideas out there and there may seem to be a better solution on the horizon, is it worth it to paint over a freshly laid coat that has yet to dry?

I know what you’re thinking… Yes, I WAS a major supporter of the fire Billy G movement, but I think I have had a complete 180. I will outline it more in my next post. At first I was kinda mad at the title, because I wanted it to reflect a need for more patience in general, but after the President’s address I kinda look smart. I forgot to throw in the fact that no one else has a plan even though they are steady bashing whatever the Obama administration puts out. That probably detracts from the premonitory genius I would have been able to boast…

You guys be good and exercise some good ol’ patience in your daily life!


  1. punditpawn
    03/25/2009 at 6:33 am

    No, Obama isn’t stealing from you. He’s taking your children’s future, instead. You won’t feel the pain for several years… and what he has done will be nearly impossible to fix. Enjoy the next couple years, we’ll be speaking Chinese soon.

  2. GetItTogetha
    03/25/2009 at 8:01 pm

    Patience?! Patience? seriously? If a robber comes into your house, holds you and your family at gunpoint and takes 1/3 or more of your possessions from you all the while saying that this is for your good, for the best and will fix your financial problems, what would you do? Be patient and see if his plan works out? Come on, when has this strategy ever worked let alone been the best course of action? The government has a monopoly on the [legal] use of force. No individual can beat the whole US military. That said “patience” is not a proper response.
    As for a plan, many folk have them and some are even decent. Libertarians, Objectivists and rational business folk know that if the government wants financial prosperity, that it must be created. Wealth must be produced and the way to do that is to give the producers of that wealth the means. That is, stop taxing the providers of jobs, pensions, investment opportunities, goods and services more as tehy do better. If you want people to have retirement funds, stop spending crazy amounts of tax money that the country doesn’t have. Stop doing stupid stuff that hasn’t helped and start giving the business folk their money back so they can make the wealth our country so desperately needs.

  3. 03/30/2009 at 6:14 am

    @punditpawn… I would be interested to see if you had the same views about the Bush regime just to see if you’re fair and balanced.

    @getittogetha your analogy is extremely fallacious because a lot of the problems we have caused. I make almost 1/3 of what I have made since I started working actual jobs at 15.5 and I am living better now than I was then, why? I dont waste money on silly stuff and I have drastically decreased my excess spending to the point where I can live on seemingly little money. I have fun, I have all that I need and occasionally I can buy a luxury, because I am a very simple person. The libertarian ideals you seek are nice, but think about how that would effect our economy. We are at this point so deep in an ideology that the libertarian model could not work unless everything completely failed and people starved, died off and started anew because of utter collapse. Then you would have to convince people that their hard physical labor does not deserve the compensation they do because someone that makes 3000 times as much as they do should doesnt want to be taxed on it. our country needs wealth but it needs more than wealth for a few.

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