It’s always tough to implement an overarching idea immediately in our culture, especially in our national government.
Many times we see politicians taking the stage promising the American public a monumental change immediately.
It’s all unfulfilled rhetoric because the words never produce the promised action.
The problem is, though, Americans eat that type of persuasion up.
The rhetoric of “right now” is a political goldmine today. The public will overwhelmingly back a “right now” policy proposal over something that might take longer, even when patience would yield far superior results.
It’s no surprise: Americans get everything they want, if the means are available, “right now.”
We get emails, instant messages, text messages and phone calls with a push of the button.
Americans can buy things with the swipe of a credit card if they don’t have the money in their wallet.
So lobbying for something to happen ‘right now’ in politics looks fantastic on the surface.
But swift action, especially in politics, means consequences aren’t adequately considered.
Obama has made this rhetorical mistake since the beginning of his administration.
He used the rhetoric of “right now” to implement his most important domestic policies: the stimulus bill and the health care legislation.
Two of his most noteworthy policies, the closing of Guantanamo Bay and the recent advice our government has given to Egypt, stirred up controversy because of the use of “right now” rhetoric.
The point is that using the rhetoric of “right now” has unintended, and sometimes dangerous, consequences.
And Obama uses it every chance he gets.
The two popular domestic policies put in place by the Obama Administration used the “right now” rhetoric.
Democrats told us we couldn’t survive without the immediate implementation of these bills.
The public bought it, convinced that things must be bad if we need immediate help.
So the bills, despite their shady content, passed in both houses of Congress and became law.
The unintended consequence of this speedy passage is that Obama and the Democrats are still defending their tactics and original urgency.
Despite such dramatic posturing, the unemployment rate is still over 9 percent and health care premiums are still very costly for individuals and families months after each bill’s passage.
The rhetoric of “right now” understandably created an expectation in the public for immediate, tangible change.
That’s impossible, and Democratic politicians know that.
Obama’s foreign policies have used the same rhetoric for two things in particular: the closing of Guantanamo Bay and the course of action recommended to the Egyptian government in light of their current crisis.
Guantanamo Bay is still up in the air for the Obama administration. Despite the fact that Obama closed the prison with one of his first executive orders, there have been few results and myriad complications.
They told us that Guantanamo had to be closed right away. But no one knew what to do next. That wasn’t important.
What was important for the president and his party was that the prison be closed immediately.
The situation in Egypt is quite different and much more dangerous.
Obama has once again used the rhetoric of “right now” in directing the Egyptian government to take some course of action regarding the protests.
We have no idea what will happen next in Egypt.
I’m afraid our President, through his rhetoric, has pushed the Egyptian people into a dangerous corner this time as well. The Egyptian people cannot afford to suffer because of nonsensical American rhetoric.
The potential consequences in Egypt could be dire.
What Obama needs to understand about the rhetoric of “right now” is that people will expect the promised results immediately.
We can’t expect Egypt to follow through on such suggestions immediately.
Obama may collect some political points at home because of his rhetoric while the Egyptian people have to dodge bullets from the special police of their tyrannical leadership.
What’s more important, right now?