Saturday, December 10, 2011

Playing the blame game

The political rhetoric over the last couple of years has escalated to the point of blatant disrespect, personal attacks, and constant finger pointing when it comes to the President of the United States, one of the most respected office’s in the world.  Accusations are tossed around without thought and facts are becoming harder and harder to find.  You would have to carry a flour sifter to filter out all the garbage floating around about the President from all sides of the political spectrum, from all races, and from all religions.  I call it, the blame game.

Regardless of the stance the President takes in regards to resolving the budget crisis, civil wars in other nations, global warming, same sex marriage, etc. there is a group of people out there that will purposely disagree with him for the sake of disagreeing with him.  They’ll take the opposite viewpoint just to have something to criticize him about, whether they actually agree with him or not.

He's going to be classified as either a villain, or a softy by those people determined to see him fail.  Since the day he was elected President, those who seek to destroy him have boldly announced their willingness to see the country fail before they allow our President to succeed.  The false claims about his citizenship, his religion, and his love for America would not be happening if his name was Mike Johnson and looked like all the previous Presidents that came before him.
I’ve heard him referred to as a Socialist, a Communist, and a Marxist.  I’m still trying to figure out how people manage to classify him in so many different ways, but can’t explain anything about any of these theories.  The next time you hear a person accuse the President of falling into one of these classifications, take a minute and ask them what that particular theory means.   You’ll be stunned that most people are just repeating what they heard someone else say and have no idea what these theories mean.
I’ve also never met a person that was a Muslim and a Christian at the same time.  Since he came on the national stage, there have been speculations, rumors and myths about his religious affiliation, as if that’s any of our business.  First, he was a Muslim because he has the same middle name as the former Iraqi leader and his father is from Kenya.  Then, he was a radical Christian because he attended a predominately Black church in Chicago pastored by a controversial preacher.   Next thing you know, he’ll be accused of being Buddhist, Atheist, or the Antichrist.

Motivated reasoning explains why this topic continues to come up from time to time. There is an attempt to associate him with being a Muslim in order to play on the emotions of weak-minded people who think that all Muslims hate America, or that Islam is a religion of violence.  “Christians” have probably killed more people in this country than Muslims have, so that deflates that argument.  The other attempt to associate him with black radicalism is like reading a script from the old playbook.  The mainstream media has always wanted to portray anyone who speaks strongly about social justice, or black pride to be radical and un-American. Remember what they said about Dr. King when he was pounding the pavement during the Civil Rights Movement? 

I wonder what Hannity or Limbaugh would talk about if they didn’t have the President to belittle, berate, criticize and scold on a daily basis.  These guys make their living complaining about the President and offer nothing in terms of an alternative plan, or solutions to any problem.  I tried listening to Hannity on the radio the other day while I was stuck in traffic, but after about five minutes I realized that he was repeating the same negative garbage from three or four years ago.  It’s like he’s obsessed with the President.  Fox News continually goes out of the way to make the President look bad, or link him to events he had nothing to do with.  i. e. trying to make a parallel between a suicide incident on a college campus that the President was visiting that day.  Spinning a story like that really goes overboard and is one more reason why I stopped watching that channel.   That place is like a trampoline or launching pad for anybody who wants to get in on the blame the President game. 

Take for instance, blaming the President for the $14 trillion national debt.  At the end of the 2008 fiscal year, the debt was around $10 trillion.  So when I hear this argument, the first thing I do is basic mathematics,  14-10= 4.  You don’t go from a surplus at the beginning of the century to $14 trillion in just two years.  Certainly the rate at which the debt has increased since he took office has gone up, but to pin the entire debt monster on him is ridiculous.  There are people in both the Democratic and Republican Parties that have been sitting in Congress since the debt started spiraling out of control, so if we’re looking for anyone to hold accountable, it’s them.

The blame the President game continues in the area of rising gasoline prices.  I recently read in an article that the governor of a southern state accused the President of wanting gas prices to go up in order to make alternative sources of fuel more competitive and to reduce pollution.  Another misinformed celebrity recently said that the President should just go to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and tell them to lower the price of oil!  If it were that easy, I wonder why that didn’t work for the last five Presidents of the United States?  Answer: because OPEC doesn’t set crude oil prices. 
Movements on the three major international petroleum exchanges; the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), the International Petroleum Exchange in London (IPE) and the Singapore International Monetary Exchange (SIMEX) set the price of crude oil, not OPEC.  Want to blame someone for paying almost $4 for a gallon of gas; blame the speculators, not the President.
This seems like a long episode from the sitcom Everybody Hates Chris.  The earthquake in Japan; blame the President.  The tornadoes in the south; blame the President.  The nails in your front tire; blame the President.  The washing machine stopped working; blame the President.  Drive thru cashier messes up your order; blame the President.  Failed the final exam; blame the President.
Granted, not everyone is going to agree with the President on some of his political or social policies.   The bottom line is that the President can’t make everyone happy.  One man alone can’t possibly be responsible for all the bad things happening all over the world.  We all have the right to criticize and disagree with the President, but doing so in a respectful manner is the honorable thing to do.  At the end of the day he’s still the Commander in Chief, proudly representing the United States all over the world.
Originally published by the Charlton County Herald on April 26, 2011

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