Opening a new chapter

The president will need popular support to advance an ambitious agenda

President Obama made a call to begin a new chapter in the history of the United States. He called for an era where reinvesting in human capital and infrastructure does two things: first, bring things up to date and then, solidify the future.

The president’s current progressive proposals fit the idea that many of his followers have of him; they see in him the potential to be a transformative figure.

In this case, the goal is to close an era where government has been perceived as an enemy of the people, one that began in the 1980s. That era meant a cycle of low taxes, a smaller federal government and deregulation that led to prosperity, which in turn gave way to a shrinking middle class, allowed the infrastructure to deteriorate and created the largest wealth gap among Americans.

History will tell how effective Obama will be in orchestrating this historic turnaround while facing a stubborn opposition in the House of Representatives.

However, there are reasons to remain hopeful. Years ago, it was impossible to imagine Republicans applauding a comprehensive immigration reform proposed by a Democratic president during his State of the Union. There is no doubt that Obama’s re-election transformed the immigration debate.

It should also be that way in achieving a minimum wage that enables the working class to emerge from poverty and in balancing opportunities for all Americans by providing universal preschool. These ideas, just like others that the president introduced before Congress, depend on consistent, open support from constituents.

After all, voters were the ones who forced Republicans to change their tone on immigration.

We think it is necessary to respond Obama’s call in order to move forward in becoming a nation that provides more generous opportunities to its people. All with the understanding that this will contribute to creating a country that is prepared to face the challenges the future brings.