Friday, April 25, 2014

Please pardon my politics--but not my compassion

Tonight I was browsing Facebook and came across a picture taken in the Oval Office. A little girl in a frilly dress, barely walking but clutching the edge of the desk and with a pacifier in her mouth, is looking at the president who is bent down in his chair holding a hand out to her. A gentle, compassionate gesture and yet someone commented, "He is a genuine fake." A few posts later something called the Grudge (with good cause) posted what a cause for celebration Obama's last day in office will be.
Folks, I am genuinely tired of this irrational hate of the President as a human being. Disagree with his policies and his decisions if you can do so in a rational manner, supporting what you say with facts, research, statistics. Please spare all of us the blind hatred.  I can think of nothing the President or the First Lady have done to merit such anger. In fact, I think they seem like pretty nice people that I'd like to live next door to (their house is in the Chicago neighborhood where I grew up). I don't know enough about international diplomacy to make definitive judgments on his policies. I know a little about health care and think, the ACA is a good step toward needed health care reform--it's not the final word, but it's a bug step in the right direction. Studies seem to prove that. Most of Obama's other policies--voting rights for all, equal pay, etc.--seem aimed at closing the gap between most of us and the one percent (while such policies as Paul Ryan's proposed budget would make that gap a great gulf). It baffles me that people on the lower edge of the middle class are so angry at the president--they're the ones he's trying to protect. Regardless, I think you have to separate political person and human being, and it's disrespectful to slander, rant and otherwise curse the man who was twice elected to run our country.
I really didn't like the policies of George W. Bush, and I was pretty vocal about it. But I don't think he's a bad person. I do think he was given bad counsel (because he chose poor counselors) and made bad decisions. But he seems to be a nice guy who likes the outdoors, likes to paint, loves his family, and is a proud grandpa. Besides, he's keeping out of politics these days which speaks well for him--except promoting immigration reform which is needed. But I never heard people rant about him as a person, much as they decried his wars and tax cuts and other bad decisions. I believe we're still seeing the negatives of his legacy in the Supreme Court--but that's political, not personal. He has every right to be a conservative and to make such appointments--I just wish he hadn't.
When hatred of Obama comes up, some are quick to deny race has anything to do with it. Methinks they doth protest too much. I can't believe race has nothing to do with it because the hatred is so irrational, so much deeper than that bestowed on other presidents (even President Clinton during his impeachment trial). I think it's a sad commentary on our country.
What I think is great is that the Obama family, as a unit, seems to go about life without acknowledging it or letter it bother them.

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