Like Obama’s First Term, Most Americans Want Trump to Address These Two Policy Areas

In many ways, incoming president Donald Trump and outgoing president Barack Obama couldn’t be more different. Trump is brash, while Obama is smooth. Trump’s worldview is more nationalist, while Obama’s is more globalist. Obama is a liberal ideologue, while Trump is a centrist pragmatist. Yet, in other ways, it’s actually kind of startling to see how similar the two men are, and by extension, how similar the country is to where we were eight years ago.

A new poll from Reuters/Ipsos finds that a plurality of voters want President-elect Trump to make health care his top priority when assuming office. In second place was a concern over jobs and the economy. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

In 2008, America had just been rocked by one of the worst financial crises in history. After two terms of George W. Bush, the voters were ready for something different, and due to economic insecurity, they rejected John McCain’s promise of a foreign policy presidency for Obama’s promise of “hope and change,” with an emphasis on health care reform and salvaging the economy from ruin.

It wasn’t at all surprising that change should win out in those troubled times over the decayed establishment. People felt vulnerable and needed new ideas to try to push the country back on the right track. What is surprising is that after eight years of “hope and change,” people still largely feel the same way.

Donald Trump’s election is undeniably a call for change, as many commentators have pointed out. What this shows is that the status quo — the things people thought they wanted in 2008 — have proven utterly unsatisfactory. Back then, there was a sense of great urgency to repair the nation’s broken health care system. And make no mistake, it was broken.

But Obamacare, Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement, has been such an abject failure that the same sense of urgency remains undiminished today. Rising premiums, sky-high deductibles, and a malfunctioning market where insurers continue to drop out of the program are making Americans less medically secure than ever, despite the president and his cronies repeatedly assuring us that it’s working great. We know through direct experience that it isn’t.

Similarly, the economy remains in heavy focus. While it’s clear that we are not in the same desperate position we were in 2008, the recovery has been one of the slowest in history. And despite the official jobs numbers coming out of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, once again direct, personal experience tells voters that work is hard to come by, and small businesses struggle under a regulatory burden that is undeniably worse than it was before Obama took office. While again, the White House assures us that they “saved or created” millions of jobs through stimulus packages, bailouts, and quantitative easing, the results of all these policies have not inspired confidence in the electorate.

It’s hard to draw any other conclusion than that Trump’s election is serving much the same purpose as Obama’s election did in 2008, although with one important difference. While voters certainly viewed Obama as a condemnation of the Bush administration, Bush had not come into office promising to do the very things that formed the basis for Obama’s campaign. Today, we see that health care and the economy, the two policy issues Obama most aggressively tackled, remain the chief source of voter anxiety.

In other words, Obama didn’t just fail to keep the country happy, he failed at his own stated goals in such a spectacular way, that somehow Donald Trump (I still can’t believe it) is now going to be president. Eight years from now, will we once again be desperate for change? For all our sakes, I hope not.

This article originally appeared on Conservative Review.

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Free the People publishes opinion-based articles from contributing writers. The opinions and ideas expressed do not always reflect the opinions and ideas that Free the People endorses. We believe in free speech, and in providing a platform for open dialog. Feel free to leave a comment!

Logan Albright

Logan Albright is the Head Writer and Sound Engineer at Free the People. He is the author of Conform or Be Cast Out: The (Literal) Demonization of Nonconformists and Our Servants, Our Masters: How Control Masquerades as Assistance.

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