Not so long ago when Americans, regardless of their political party, supported their president, the United States was viewed as a mecca for the best and brightest the world had to offer. Once elected, anyone who won the White House was no longer viewed strictly as a Republican or Democrat, but the president of the United States; the head of the greatest success story since the Roman Empire.
But with the newly elected President Barack Obama, that mentality quickly became the conspicuous exception to that unwritten, and previously meaningful, patriotic rule. And the words “patriot”, “American”, and “honorable”, appearing in the same sentence have become a bad joke over the last six years. America might be feared for its mighty nuclear arsenal, but she’s neither respected, admired, nor emulated.
The “Ugly American” has been taken to an entirely new level of disgust, both at home and worldwide.
Four days before Obama’s inauguration, before he even officially took charge of the American government, Rush Limbaugh boasted publicly that he hoped the president would fail. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the sitting Senate minority leader, in his first public statement regarding Mr. Obama’s election, stated what under any other president would have been tantamount to treason; that despite the crushing blow of a worldwide economic crash under Republican leadership, despite there were 700,000 Americans losing their jobs every month, despite his own party having been in charge during the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor, despite the bumbling and deadly mishandling of Hurricane Katrina, and despite America being beaten, once again, in a war as unpopular and “un-winnable” as Viet Nam, which was built upon blatant lies, Mitch McConnell’s #1 priority was to take down Obama’s presidency any way he could. That single statement was when I decided that American had formally lost its moral compass.
All of the above ignores the other obvious fact, that when the president fails, the country flounders. Wishing harm upon your country because of who is president, or in order to further your own narrow political views is selfish, sinister and more than a tad treasonous as well.
Moreover, when the leader of the opposition party opens such a door, the crazies flood in. During Mr. Obama’s first State of the Union address, which is supposed to be, historically, a pep rally for America, an unknown congressional representative from South Carolina, later identified as Joe Wilson, stopped the show when he interrupted the preceding with a rudeness and disrespect preciously not allowed at a high school commencement, much less a STOTU address, shouted out, on national and worldwide television, that the president of the United States is a liar.
The president showed great restraint in ignoring this unprecedented insult and carried on with his speech.
Last spring, president Obama took his wife Michelle to see a play in New York City and Republicans condemned him over the cost of security for the excursion. This president can’t take his wife out to dinner and a show without being scrutinized by the political opposition? Even though history has proven, a president in a theater without adequate security is a tragically bad idea, this too was perfectly acceptable to deny for this president.
The treatment of president Obama had gone from offensive to ugly, and then to downright dangerous.
The healthcare debate, which looked more like the food fight from the movie “Animal House” than a national dialogue, revealed the most vulgar side of America. President Obama’s face appeared on protest signs, white-faced and blood-mouthed in a satanic clown image, in tasteless portrayals, people who disagreed with his position, distorted his face to look like Hitler, complete with mustache and swastika.
Odd that burning the flag makes Americans crazy, but depicting the president as a clown and a maniacal fascist is accepted as part of the new rude & crude America. So much for the Christian values that the Republican Party claims as one of their hallmarks.
Maligning the image of the leader of the free world is one thing; putting the president’s life in peril is quite another. More than once, men with guns were broadcast around the world while attending the healthcare rallies where the president spoke. And this, despite the fact that history shows that letting men with guns get within range of a president has not served America well in the past.
Still today the “birthers” are out there claiming Barack Obama was not born in the United States, although public documentation proves otherwise. Hawaii is definitely part of the United States, but the Panama Canal Zone where his electoral opponent Senator John McCain was born? Nobody’s sure, but it’s hypocritically alright for an old white guy; just not Barack Obama.
Last month, a woman in Buffalo–obviously quite taken by president Obama when she met him in a chicken wing restaurant called Duff’s—who would have normally said something about a pleasure and an honor to meet the man, or utter encouraging words for the difficult job he is doing. But this President? No. And I quote: “You’re a hottie with a smokin’ little body.”
Lady,that was the president of the United States you were addressing, not one of the smug little pricks they call “music” artists today! He’s your president, for pete’s sakes, not the guy driving the Zamboni at “Monster Trucks On Ice.”
In President Barack Obama, Americans have had a charismatic leader with a good and honest heart. Unlike his predecessor, he’s a very intelligent leader. And unlike that president’s predecessor, he’s a highly moral man; not one given to “drop trou” for any adoring trollop that wanders into the Oval Office for a quickie BJ.
In president Obama, Americans have had, and squandered, the real deal, the whole package, and a leader that citizens of almost every country around the world look to with pride. Under his command, we even caught and killed the head terrorist for that awful 9/11 debacle that took place under his predecessor’s watch.
What America has had and disrespected in Obama is a head of state with vitality and insight and youth. The great things Obama might have done for America and the world could have gone on for decades after he’s out of office. But we wasted it all by letting spoiled, brazen brothers with billions of dollars passed on to them by their racist father, conspire to sway even the Supreme Court into ruling that free speech is defined by how much money one has.
America, you know not what you have.
The man is being challenged unfairly, characterized with vulgarity and treated with the kind of deep disrespect to which no previous president was ever subjected. It’s as if the day after electing the first black American to be president, the raw underbelly of despicable, racist, oligarchs decided the bad old days were better and by golly we will drag this country and its heritage, history and reputation through the mud—or anything else we can lie, steal, or bring to bear—to bring this man, and through him this country to its knees regardless of the collateral damage.
Well, after only 36% of mentally and physically lazy Americans turned out to vote in the midterm elections, you, the other 64% who just couldn’t be bothered, deserve exactly what you get.
Believe me, when Americans drive by the White House and see a sign on the lawn that reads, “Owned and Operated by Koch Industries” they’ll realize this new national crassness came at a helluva price.