Four seemingly endless years ago I, along with many of my peers, had one of the most important “firsts” in our lives. We walked, drove, skipped and strolled on down to our local polling booth and made our voices count in one of the most historical presidential elections in American history. No matter which way we voted, young adults and minorities set records in voting turnout rates.
The votes were cast and the result was Change. Yes we can America. We proved to the world that the United States is the land of equal opportunity, or so remarked President Obama in his victory address.
Now, on the brink of the 2012 election, it appears that Obama is once again relying on young voters need for change. Only this time, he is talking about the lack of change in our banks.
In his visit to the University of North Carolina last Tuesday, Obama urged college students speak out against the proposed interest rate increase on student loans. His message was simple “Don’t double my rate.” He is compelling students everywhere to post it, share it, like it, tweet it, stand up on our soap boxes and shout it to whoever will listen. We need to spark the change we wish to see.
One thing caught me off guard however about Obama’s atypical rally-the-youth address, his comments regarding his own personal student loan tribulations. Presumably this was another signature “common man” appeal to gain an edge over his competition as Oliver Knox points out in his Yahoo! News piece. However, it made me wonder.
Let’s do some math here.
Obama claims that he was still paying off student loans eight years ago.
He has served four years in office to date, and is currently 51 years old.
That means that at 43 years old and four years away from becoming the President of the United States, he was still in debt due to his education.
Hearing that our nation’s leader was still in debt from his student loans until four years before he ran for office is a little unnerving.
Let’s face it. Most of us will never become the president of the United States. Nor will the majority of us rise to similar power, fame or other grandeur. If a United States Senator is still paying off his student loans while serving their term, I hold little hope for those of us who are simply looking to carve out a simple house in the stones.
Not to mention that Obama graduated in a booming economic climate ripe with opportunity, when a college education cost less and could take you further.
The reality is that most of us will graduate in debt with no way to pay back the loans that were supposed to be an investment in our future.
This year we look to the one man who promised us change, yet he brushes passed, looks back and says do our begging elsewhere.
Where is our change?
It’s not in my pocket and it not in my government.
Some things never change.