Sunday, September 13, 2009

Political Unrest

President Obama has been in the news quite a bit lately, and from what I've read, it hasn't been good. Admittedly, he's been in the news quite a bit ever since he announced his candidacy for President - moreso than any politician I've seen in the past. But it appears that he believes that the more he puts himself out there, the more chance he has of people liking him. Say what you will about the other candidates, President Obama ran his campaign as one who is running for a position in his high school student council. He was running for popularity. And it was on that platform that he won.

He is an eloquent speaker. He is a good-looking man with a good-looking family. He is charismatic. But good looks and pretty words only get you so far when you are the President of the United States. At some point, the people start expecting something solid from you. And for all the talking that President Obama has done, that's about all we've gotten from him.

Now I won't claim that he has single-handedly brought about the demise of our great country - there were factors in play that he simply had to take on because he sought this position. But he and his administration have made mistake after mistake and Obama is seeing that his popularity is failing. And although most celebrities will tell you that any publicity is good publicity, being a celebrity president isn't quite the same thing as being a regular celebrity. And in an effort to combat the poor ratings and negative publicity, President Obama does what he does best. Some may say it is the only thing he knows to do. He speaks.

He spoke to our school children. It seemed innocent enough and why was everybody making such a fuss? Well, because we don't trust him. In the eight months he has been in office, President Obama hasn't given us reason to trust him. So the last thing we want is to hear rumors that the President of the United States has deemed it necessary to speak to our children. Is it perhaps because he knows the adults are finished listening? Is it truly any wonder that there was such an uproar from parents across the nation? For those who have school-aged children, you may have had the opportunity to hear the speech yourself or have a conversation with your children about what they heard. None of my children were forced to listen to the drivel and I had no need to be concerned about opting out. But it was indeed drivel according to the media. Oh, the media hyped it as a feel-good speech, encouraging our children to stay in school and work hard and take advantage of the education that was being offered. But did we really need the President of the United States to tell them that? Does he assume that those who are actually still in school are not already hearing this from their parents, teachers, and community leaders? Does he believe that his message was actually heard by those who have already opted out of school, even when they are physically in attendance?

Then when the hubbub over that piece of intelligence grew less interesting, President Obama ramped up his efforts to convince Congress to pass his idea of health care reform. But see, here's the truth: President Obama is not supposed to be introducing bills into Congress - that's not his job. And so his speech to Congress wasn't him actually proposing his own bill, although if one gets passed, he will claim the credit. He was simply trying to make it look like he knew what he was talking about as he urged Congress to put aside differences so that a health-reform bill could be passed. What bill is that? The one that has been debated in Congress all along. And he wasn't so much urging all of Congress to work together to come up with a reasonable bill, but in a back-handed manner, disciplining those who opposed the bill as it now stands so that he gets his way and can claim some kind of credit for being so proactive on this subject. And as he stood before Congress and eloquently submitted the words which he or some speech writer had drafted earlier, he was heckled. Yes, that's what the media claims. A member of Congress who did not believe a word Obama was saying called him on it. From the peanut gallery came the call of "You Lie!" And the media jumped all over that - claiming that this outburst had hurt the GOP. Now granted, maybe the outburst went against congressional decorum, but seriously, folks - are we truly that upset that a representative of a body of Americans called Obama on the carpet? Shouldn't we be applauding this man for actually doing his job - that of representing his constituents? Shouldn't we be far more upset at the rest of the members of Congress who would rather go down in history for maintaining decorum than for doing their job and speaking for the people they represent.

Representation. This is what our government is supposed to be about. Representing their constituents rather than worrying about keeping their coveted offices. Well, I say "Kudos" to Joe Wilson from South Carolina. Thank you for being brave enough to go against the popularity contest winner. Thank you for doing your job and saying for us what we couldn't be there to say ourselves. And to President Obama - take a lesson from Representative Joe Wilson - remember that you are not there to be served, but to serve the people of the United States.

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