As we approach the end of the 6th year of the presidency of Barack Obama some important questions come to mind. Why are the feelings of many of our citizens towards out President so harsh, hateful and poisonous?
Historically, President Obama has served in a similar fashion to other activist Presidents who believed that government has a positive place in our lives. We hear that he is a dictator, but he has used the least executive orders of any President in the last 100 years. We hear that he is weak, but obviously you can not be a dictator and be weak at the same time. We have heard that he is a Communist, Socialist and Fascist. Well, if you know what each political persuasion is defined as he can’t be all of the above. We hear that he is too liberal or too moderate and willing to compromise. Are the depth of feelings against the President a result of the change in his view of what the place of government is in our lives or is it due to the fact that he is black? Or is he?
Perhaps it is natural that after the Reagan era, an era where the idea that government was bad, evil if you would, a different view of governing would engender such feelings of animosity. People such as Charles Krauthammer, knew that this President was serious about being a president that used government in a manner similar to FDR, Truman, yes, Eisenhower, JFK and LBJ. Is this apparent animosity exhibited by the right due to his, Obama’s view on what governing should be like, or is it primarily a racial backlash by white, older Americans? Or is it a combination of both?
In history if a white President had prevented America from going into a Great Depression, if a President had gotten us out of 2 wars, if others had restored our economy to a place of strength where people were more confident about their futures, praise would be raining down on that President. But no, after years of daily attacks from Fox TV, Americans have grown weary of this Presidency.
We should in fact thank our lucky stars that a person of such talent and wisdom has led us out of such dark times. The world that is starving for leadership, appreciates our President more than we do. People are fickle, though.
Look at history for a moment! Churchill was voted out, immediately after he had led Britain through its years of blood, sweat and tears, to victory. It is sad that people have forgotten why or how our parents gave us the social democracy that we inherited. We’ve forgotten the moral imperative that the experience of the Great Depression and World War II gave to our parents generation.
Are we the two Americas we read about? Or do we have much more in common as polling would indicate on the major issues of the day? My feeling is that most Americans have more in common and that we are suffering through a time of extremism that can not last if we are to survive as a Republic.
I am always troubled by unfairness and injustice. America made it through what can be argued as the worst Presidency in our history, that of President George W. Bush. We will be working to overcome the damage done for years. The war in Iraq left the country in turmoil. It left a country occupied by Americans in the Arab world. We upset the stability of the region when we should have left the people to determine their own future. President Bush broke international law by invading another nation without reason. There were no weapons of mass destruction. Bush had people tortured and it was he who started listening in our conversations. It was Bush who started a war that may never end, the war on terror. We have lost more liberty than we have gained in security.
The unfairness is now that Iraq is imploding, naturally President Obama is being blamed. War does not change the hearts and minds of the people. With the religious differences it was bound to implode. He gets blamed for everything that goes wrong in the world. Sorry, but some of our problems in the world have been brewing for years if not centuries. What is important is to have someone in the White House who is wise enough and moderate enough to use power judiciously.
The games that are being played are just darn right ridiculous. No matter what happens it is Obama’s fault. If peace broke out, somehow the right-wing would find something amiss. Maybe all of this planned Fox news propaganda, is all about the power that they lost in not winning the election.
I am at a loss as to why partisan political interests have won out over what is best for the national interests. I guess we are witnessing the Lord Acton dictum, that power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Political power is something people don’t want to give up. Is that why Republicans are so willing to use the politics of personal destruction?
Inaction is causing our nation to decay. While we suffer, the Tea Party’s, right-wing zealots fiddle away while the country is beginning to resemble Detroit, a crumbling giant, remembering how things used to be.
I can not see how corporate America benefits by the slow disintegration of America’s infrastructure.
It is hard to fathom who benefits by our political dysfunction.
But no matter, the question is still on the table. Why is the political atmosphere so poisoned? Is it because he is black? As a boy who grew up in the South, I understand how strong the feelings were that white power was necessary. That somehow if a black man got ahead he must have cheated. So much for the illusion of a post racial era that people believed we had arrived at on the evening of the President’s victory.
I am still the optimist, even though things seem so dark and dreary. America is resilient and generous. We just need to send the Ayn Randers, Social Darwinists, the reactionary, anti-science, anti-intellectual, old white men, anti-women’s rights men, racists home. It is in our power at the ballot box to do so. This is our legacy from our founders to remedy what needs to be fixed. The vote is what Jefferson had in mind when he said the tree of liberty needs to be renewed, often.