Focusing on the positives

Frank Yonkof

Over the past two semesters as a columnist, I have received a lot of criticism. Most of it came from either wing nuts or animal rights activists, so I really didn’t pay too much attention to it. But one criticism I tend to agree with is that perhaps I was too negative in my columns.

It’s true that I spent most of my time bashing Republicans, rather than talking about all the good things Democrats have accomplished. It’s also true that most people focus on the gripping negatives when expressing their opinions rather than the dull positives, and I am no exception.

I can’t lie and say I didn’t mean what I wrote, but looking back now, I wish I wrote a few more positive columns. Of course, when you sit down to start writing at 10 p.m. every Saturday night, sometimes the only way you can crank out 700 words before deadline is by getting pissed at conservatives.

Instead of focusing this column on the hypocrisy of the Republican Party or the Tea Party movement, I chose to instead focus on some (but not all) of the major things President Obama and my fellow Democrats have accomplished.

It’s no secret that this last year has been tough for the Democrats. And chances are we will lose the House in this upcoming election. But I have honestly never been more proud of my party or my country before this year.

Even though it may cost some congressmen their jobs, we finally have politicians who are not afraid to stand up for what’s right. And in a world as crazy as ours, we really do need people to do the right thing.

The fact is, Congress will change hands many times in our lifetime, but policies like health insurance reform and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act will have a lasting effect. Naturally, there will be some who try to repeal such accomplishments, but how do you explain to the American people that they will again be denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions?

Even from an international standpoint, the policies set forth by this administration have greatly improved relations with Russia and Middle Eastern nations, which is vital to our nation’s security.

Most importantly though, we finally have a president who is down to earth. We have a president who is not afraid to admit we were wrong in the past. And we have a president who reads 10 letters from ordinary Americans every night, even letters from people who think he’s wrong about everything.

I am truly proud of all the accomplishments this president and this Congress have made, and I am optimistic that they will continue to tackle tough issues that have been put off for too long. Even though this next election cycle is sure to be tough, I’m confident most Americans will look past all the talking heads on TV.

Although the loud voices of the Tea Party try to convince everyone that the president is Satan himself, no one should ever feel ashamed for supporting President Obama. After all, he is an intelligent and honorable man, and the fact that his opponents have to make up pure lies to slow some of his initiatives only goes to show how undeniably good his intentions are.

On another note, I am leaving the Opinion page at the end of this semester, and this will be my last column. Perhaps I will return later on down the road, but life is getting busy. Before I sign off, I would like to thank everyone who has continued to read my columns, and I am grateful for the opportunity I had to share my opinions and ideas with you on a weekly basis.

Frank Yonkof is a sophomore newspaper journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].