Crisis in faith

The Presidential Inauguration

Two bus riders watch Barack Obama’s inaugural address on the TV in the Sparks municipal bus station.

Two bus riders watch Barack Obama’s inaugural address on the TV in the Sparks municipal bus station.

Photo By Dennis Myers

There is a wealth of information about the new administration’s plans at

I’m going to be honest here, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to get me a bunch of shit. While a large percentage of the American public is putting huge faith in Barack Obama’s administration to repair the economic crises and social chasms brought on by the last few presidential administrations—particularly the last one—I don’t believe it can be done—not quickly enough to start the momentum needed to get past the next election. I already see many people, including our own esteemed columnist Amanda Williams, complaining—before he was even in office—that he hadn’t repaired the economy. I think this will be the Republican Party’s strategy for regaining office in 2010 and the method by which they will derail any economic recovery for their own partisan purposes.

That probably sounds like I’ve lost faith in the patriotism of Republicans. The problem with that is that I saw the exact same behavior among Democrats for the last four years. I’m an equal opportunity cynic and have been for a while now. In fact, as I sit here on the eve of a new president and look around the world, I’m having a tough time putting my finger on anything political where I committed my faith and had it confirmed.

This is not to say that I have lost faith in Barack Obama as a candidate. Gaining the ability to come up with the “Obama wants you” cover concept for Election Day and having 25,000 little campaign posters all over Northern Nevada on Nov. 4 is a pretty good illustration of why I became an alternative-style journalist and the editor of a newspaper in the first place.

And I know that at least one individual claimed that those with enough faith can overcome physics—even by walking on water. But does faith exist in great enough quantities for someone to walk on water when half the world would desiccate the lake to prevent the establishment of faith from happening?

There is only a certain amount of wealth in the world. We’ve already spent $589 billion dollars subjugating Iraq. We’ve spent more than $700 billion dollars buoying up corrupt banking corporations. Obama’s looking at spending another $825 billion dollars on economic stimulus. Yet, not one dollar has been spent to help us little folks who bought a house—that had its value endorsed by a bank—to renegotiate loans with banks based on the real value of homes.

Get it? The very cause of the economic crash remains unaddressed because even the new administration has only come up with a plan to protect banks’ interests, while the citizens continue to go down in flames because we have no lobbyists in Washington, D.C.

So with a $2 trillion-plus budget deficit, and money availability drying up because of the crap economy, where is the health-care reform money going to come from? Where is the No Child Left Behind educational reform package going to get its 30 pieces of silver? Where is the money for my child’s college education’s loans and grants going to come from? My ex and I have been saving money in a Vanguard 529 college savings plan since the day he was born. Guess what happened to that when the corrupt financial institutions went belly up?

But this wouldn’t be a crisis in faith unless there were some faith left to be bestowed—some unhoped-for hope that allows me to go to the well once more, something that doesn’t allow the smothering of the eternal spring in cynical truth and feculent expectations.

And with that, Mr. President. I wish you luck. Many of us have faith that you’ll do your best.