Velma Hart shocked those on the left and was applauded by those on the right when she stated to the president at a town hall meeting: “I’ve been told that I voted for a man who said he’s going to change things in a meaningful way for the middle class. I’m one of those people, and I’m waiting, sir … I’m waiting, but I don’t feel it yet.”
Feelings. Sorry, I’m hearing that song by Jim Croce in my head right now.
Feelings are not facts. Feelings are not based on facts. And Velma Hart is not alone.
Despite the fact that the recession ended in June 2009, despite the fact that new home construction is up over 10 percent, and despite the fact that unemployment has not risen and foreclosures have decreased; Americans still feel that things are bad.
I have often said on the Fox News Channel, where I am a contributor: It took me 10 months to have a baby and 2 years to lose the weight. You can’t fix an economy in 18 months that took 10 years to create.
What I felt Velma was saying is what I hear Americans saying on my radio show and on blogs such as this: I don’t “feel” the economy is improving. Wall Street shows that it is. Economists say that it is. What does America need to “feel” that it is?
Our perception is our reality. Whether it’s the right-wing media (yes, I actually said that) reporting this financial doom and gloom, the reality is the recession is over--we turned a corner. It’s not as fast as we’d like, but we’re on our way. The reality is that nearly 10 percent of people don’t have jobs, but nearly 90 percent do have jobs. Although we have thousands who have lost their homes, we have millions still in their homes.
Velma reminded me of many Americans who look to the president as a child looks to their parent: “Daddy, are we there yet?” and Daddy tells us, “not yet sweetheart.”
President Obama isn’t our Daddy America. He can’t give you, me, or Velma the date and time the economy will “feel” better for any of us. As our president, not our daddy, he has always told us that this road to recovery is long, painful, and will have setbacks. That I think we can all agree is true.