Thursday, February 2, 2012

What the Disrespect of President Obama Tells Us About Us...

Politics is a difficult business. It would be difficult enough it were simply a world of policy, ideas, opinions and ideology. But those things are inclusive of a number of issues that we often congratulate ourselves for being noble enough to have transcended. Issues like class and race.

Because of that, we are either insensitive to, or ignorant of the impact of our policies, ideas, opinions or ideologies. In a country like ours, that has struggled so hard to realize the 'American Dream' its hard for us to understand that to realize that dream actually means to make room for other groups. It means that at some point the people on top, who have struggled to be on top, must compete to remain on top. It means that those in power, must learn what it means to share that power. Equality of opportunity means that someone may show themselves more capable and may catch up or even surpass us. Or it means that oppressed groups, emerging from oppression, will ascend to places of prominence and yes, even power, that were previously reserved for the oppressor.

It's the reaction to those changes that determine how close we are to realize that dream. It's the proof that our politics is as authentic and noble as we believe.

President Barack Obama's ascendancy to proved that America had become desperate enough to try to ascend the issue of race. It also proved that there are those in power, who had not realized the transcendence on which we prided ourselves and that there is an startling intransigence when it comes to the idea of sharing power.

Obama - at least as qualified to serve as president as Abraham Lincoln was when he took the oath of office; whose ability to raise money in mounting a campaign actually placed him in the category of some Fortune 500 corporations; whose agenda was no more 'liberal' the John F. Kennedy; who came into office facing an economic crisis second only to FDR and who dealt with foreign policy issues rivaling only FDR's second term, has been assailed more than any other president in our country's history.

And that's saying something.

In the midst of an economy on the verge of economic collapse and fighting two wars abroad, Republican Party leadership declared it's number one agenda was to make certain that he only had one term in office. No other president faced such a publicly stated opposition goal - and that's saying something. FDR, Kennedy and Nixon were vilified, but the most vehement and venal forms of hatred came from those outside of the political arena. Obama has faced publicly stated hatred and disrespect from elected officials.

It is not only astounding, it is revealing. It is revealing in that a significant portion of our country is publicly stating that it refuses to be governed by anyone other than those from its own ranks. And the fear is, confirmed in the minds of many, that they will be governed by no one who doesn't look like the previous 43 presidents.

Under the best of circumstances, the revelation of how far we are from the 'Dream' we covet, would be a cause for national reflection and the reassessment of who we are as a nation.

That type of reassessment and reflection doesn't seem to be forthcoming. 

At least not yet...

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