“Be polite to all but intimate with few.” - Thomas Jefferson
Many times as children we are told to “keep an open mind” about certain things. Sometimes we get burned by our own youthful trust in the world around us. I trusted my mother when she told me to keep an open mind about Zucchini Casserole and it darn near landed me in the ICU with spastic colon, irritable bowels, a swollen tongue, and a delusional distrust of anything served in a casserole dish. (That may be a slight exaggeration but suffice it to say, the dish is not on my “Like Mom Used to Make” list of favorite foods!) My youngest daughter and my beautiful bride, Jackie share a sometimes consuming need to know exactly what is coming around the corner. Part of it is their unshakeable belief that the rest of the world is simply not capable of operating at their own level of efficiency, diligence, or intelligence. As I am perfect in almost every single way, I allow this little game to continue until they collide at a point where they both know what’s best, yet their opinions are opposite. It is very hard for either of them to see beyond their own ideas of how things should run. Having never suffered at the hands of such an affliction myself I find it hard to relate when they get to that frenzied level of assertiveness. It’s like an emotional dog-fight. Two Pit Bulls, in full body armor, driving emotional tanks at one another until one opinion wins and the opposition lies soaking in their own tears. Again, I may be viewing them through slightly exaggerated lenses and I’m sure they will inform me of such as soon as they have the opportunity, but the point is that we often get too caught up in our own ideas to see what’s right in front of us. We have to get that “last word” or the fight wasn’t worth fighting.
We’ve all had that relationship with that annoying couple who can’t stop themselves from reminding you how perfect their marriage is. You know the ones that stare into each other’s eyes as if they’re the only people in the restaurant? They talk down to others as if no other relationship on earth could possibly be as special, connected, or righteous as their own. It’s a sad part of human nature that these are the same people we are all internally giddy to see going through a humiliating divorce. It’s the same part of human nature that makes us tune into anything that might result in the on-air overdose of Charlie Sheen. It’s the same aspect of human nature that keeps admitting Terrell Owens into locker rooms around the various football leagues in North America. It’s one of those “on-paper” decisions. T.O. looks good on paper, and even if he destroys the cohesive fabric of the team, he’s sure to bring some publicity and interest. This is the world our media has created for us. Disaster brings higher ratings than relief. Infidelity is more interesting than the sanctity of marriage. Ideology is easier to sell than reality. And that, right there ladies and gentlemen, is the problem with our political system.
For three and a half years, we have been suffering under the results of a false reality. We’ve been told to look the other way while more and more mistakes are made and blamed on someone else. We bought into the ideology without considering the reality of that purchase. When I say “we,” I am of course just being nice to all of those poor, misguided souls who voted for Obama back in 2008 simply because of the mob-pleasing, attention getting, media friendly hope and change he promised. We’ve ignored the reality that this administration has left in its wake. Is it because we are weak? Is it because we are too tired to fight? Is it because we haven’t come up with a plan of our own yet or is it because we are simply being defeated? Whatever the case may be, the truth is that we have gotten so locked into one way of thinking that it has taken a slap to our collective faces to jar us from the trance. His Barackness being the aforementioned “slap” of course. Again, using the collaborative “we” as a courtesy to those willing to atone for their 2008 mistake; WE became so enamored of what Obama told us he could deliver that we never took the time to consider the possibility of failure. He spoke so passionately. He described this green energy powered utopia in such optimistic language. It was as if he had literally been there already. His blame of Bush made sense to a lot of people who had abandoned what we were warned would be a “long and difficult” road. Okay, you know what…..you people handed over the reins of your country to a mad-man. There’s absolutely no reason why I should extend you any more courtesies.
America is not as strong today as it was when Obama took office. That is an undeniable, iron-clad fact. His assertion that Republicans “ordered a big steak dinner” and then stuck him with “the tab” is just wimpy. It sounds like another charming excuse from the man who has mastered the craft. It does not sound like the dignified leader of the greatest country on earth. We’ve become enamored of the man who holds the office rather than the office. The President of the United States of America deserves better than the scuffing given to its name by the current title holder. That office is supposed to be held by a man with undying, unshakeable patriotism running through his veins. George Washington, with his rich, courageous, military background would shudder at the sight of the office he built. Thomas Jefferson would weep. Abraham Lincoln would stoically mourn at the state of disrepair plaguing the office he so proudly held. Ronald Reagan would bow his head and pray. We have allowed ourselves to trade “what was” for “what if.”
In his book The Five Laws of Liberty, Scott Hyland tells us to 1) Remember the Past 2) Embrace the Truth 3) Respect Humanity 4) Exercise Self-Control (Restraint) and 5) Protect and Serve Others. These were founding principles of our country. They were definitely characteristics of the men listed above, but what about the leaders in office today? What past do they remember? Is it the real one or is it the one they’ve created to justify their actions? What truth have they embraced? The only answer should be that the United States government is not bigger than the people it represents but can anyone honestly say that they believe this is how Obama sees his role in our lives? Does this administration show respect for humanity? The man’s got a “Kill List” for heaven’s sake! They show tremendous respect for those willing to vote for them in return. They respect convicted murderers more than they respect unborn babies. They respect celebrity over morality. They respect obedience over innovation. Do we even need to address the restraint issue? Has any liberal President ever shown restraint or self-control? If JFK worked in your office, he’d be that creepy guy who claims to have slept with every woman in the office. If Bill Clinton lived in the same world you do, he’d be in prison for some sort of sexual deviance by now. Do they protect and serve others? Ask Governor Perry of Texas just how much relief His Barackness granted the people affected by Tropical Storm Hermine. Ask the people who would have been given “meaningful” work with the approval of Keystone XL if they feel that Obama is looking out for their best interests or only his own.
We’ve lost sight of what the office of the President of the United States is supposed to be. It is NOT celebrity endorsements and fancy dinners. I find it insulting that Obama would dare to insinuate that Republicans ordered a “big steak dinner” on his tab while he is jetting around the country at a rate of about $180,000 (Taxpayer provided) per hour collecting $10,000 a plate dinner fees which go directly to his campaign. $40,000 to attend an evening with His Barackness at the home of George Clooney. Just because Obama felt that we shouldn’t have gone after those who attacked us on 9/11 does not mean that Bush was simply “racking up a tab” with the ensuing war. Obama acts as if he’s the first President to be handed some expenses when he takes over. His handling of those responsibilities has been abhorrent and simply cannot be blamed on his predecessor. He promised us success despite the requirements of such a promise. Enough is enough.
Would you rather we have a cool President to present to the rest of the world, or a strong country? Personally, I could care less how cool Mitt Romney looks when he’s delivering speeches. I could not possibly care less how many celebrities like him. Those are the things that we have been led to believe are important. We have placed importance on those things and as a result, our country is failing. It’s failing and it’s time to stop pretending the problem will go away if we act like it’s not there. It is there. Your kid’s on drugs. Your daughter’s sexually active. That mole is getting bigger. You don’t have any more money to spend. Those things you would address no matter how uncomfortable it made you feel so why is it so easy to get us to look the other way when our country is being stolen from us? This problem will only go away if we roll up our sleeves and clean up the mess. If we view Romney through the same lenses prescribed to us by the Obama administration, we’re doomed. Celebrity is not nearly as important as truth. Ideology is not nearly as important as morality or common sense. View the world through those lenses for a while, would ya?
As always, thanks for playing!J Robert Giles