Barack Obama serves as the cover story for the most recent issue of Rolling Stone. The striking new image is by Shepard Fairey, the same artist behind the iconic postage stamp type portrait used during the Obama campaign.
"Will he take bold action or compromise too easily?" asks a headline enshrining the President's head...Fairey said it wasn't meant to be a halo. Rather, the picture he worked from showed Obama standing in front of the presidential seal, he said.
"It's one thing to be running for president and it's another to be President and I think this new illustration that I did hopefully captures the complexity and the weight of his new role," Fairey said..."Not only will we see how he performs, but also whether we as Americans will now help him and continue to push for the changes we asked for."
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The story comes at a time when the economy is seeing small signs of improving. However, lingering concerns about health care reform and high unemployment rates are causing many to question Obama's progress. Obama's approval rating is at the lowest its been. Also, many key issues during that rose during the campaign have Obama under scrutiny. Race was recently at the forefront which caused some to accuse him of behaving in a biased manner or like an "angry black man" for coming to the defense of Henry Louis Gates. Also, many prominent GLBT supporters are upset with Obama over the lack of progress with repealing the military's Don't Ask/Don't Tell policy among other things. This is the fear that I had. Obama is far from perfect. The change that we wish for cannot be controlled by one man.
I am curious to see how this health care crisis will pan out. I don't know that we will reach a solution any time soon. Following models of universal health care programs that work- such as the French system- there would more than likely need to be a higher level of taxation, less profit for doctors and pharmaceutical companies, and higher prices for malpractice insurance. We all know that no one is going to want to part with any money in order to help the next guy. The "s" word has been thrown around a lot in the course of Obama's service as president. Socialism is far from what Obama proposes but that didn't stop the anonymous creators of this Joker poster. Spreading the wealth is something no one really wants. Democrats are typically accused of giving too much assistance and using handouts for votes while Republicans are accused of widening the gap between the rich and poor by catering to the rich. We need some middle ground. The health care system, just like welfare and affirmative actions programs, is in need of reform. It's still yet to be proven whether or not Obama can bring change we can believe in or if he is just a symbolic figure to promote a new way of thinking. I'm banking that he will provide a little bit of both.