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BEHIND EVERY GREAT MAN Luke Walpole Ah yes the tenacity of hope; having won out against seemingly shortening odds, albeit against a candidate so restricted by Tea Party support, as well as his own religion that he managed to offend almost the entire Female/Hispanic/Afro-Caribbean electorate of America, as well as the rest of the world, bar Pakistan… apparently. So what could Obama do if he has fifteen minutes to spare? If the first four years were full of broken promises, then 100% of Americans, let alone the 51% that voted for him, will be hoping Obama will be the influential president he always threatened to be. Just this year he steered away from the ominous brink of a fiscal cliff, but instead there were a selection of spending cuts. Belts all around America will be considerably tighter following the President’s budget. Now, even with my primitive economics knowledge, I know that isn’t good; but perhaps just behind the finances, the President needs to support the women who helped place him in office or his calls for hope and equality will exude hypocrisy, when analysing his disdain for Romney’s, shall we say, more provocative views on women’s rights. Now women tended to favour Obama. Whether that was the fact he was tall and spoke well, or the fact he wasn’t an archaic sexist, no matter - looking back, the President has repealed laws, created laws and promised to continue the fight for gender equality. The ‘Affordable Care Act’ was passed as law in 2010, and despite being lambasted in the US for being a dangerous step towards socialism, it gained Obama international recognition, admittedly some good, and some derisory, but it was the ‘Lilly Ledbetter Fair Play’ act that seemed to capture the minds of the women of America. It gave women

the undeniable claim to equal pay. Sothat was his first term, more of the same for the second you should have thought? Well you’d be right, but even the messiah of politics can’t single-handedly change America’s legal system, a mesh of federal law and state law that leaves even the brightest sparks in the land slightly confused. But what Obama does have on his side is changing attitudes. Ledbetter stood up in a manner that even Rosa Parks would appreciate and America is evolving away from a society where the laws of the land put men on an uneven pedestal. Of course, all this is hypothetical. Should the president press for legal reform then he will be up there in the Pantheon of Democrats, in the eyes of women at least. One man can’t change the constitution, but with women rising up the legal agenda every day, maybe the ‘Land of the Equal Opportunity’ can truly start living up to its name.●

The Clarion-Winter 2013

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Profile for TheClarion

The Clarion  

The Winter 2013 issue of The Clarion - journal of Marling School law society

The Clarion  

The Winter 2013 issue of The Clarion - journal of Marling School law society

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