The post partisan presidency of Barack Obama has proven to be anything but. One can thank his inner circle and Obama’s own aggressive push for a Progressive ideology. Unfortunately, because of the overbearing emphasis during his 2008 campaign assigning historical significance to him becoming the first African-American president, every action he takes carries with it something no other president has had to contend with; the distinction of his skin color. As Obama’s poll numbers continue to sink one should expect that any criticism of his work will surely face not only partisan rebuttals but claims of racism as well. Liberal groups and the usual roster of professional race baiters will see to it. The candidate that ran on a pledge of being ‘post partisan’ and ‘post racial’ will end up being neither.
Whether we like to think this way or not, we’re human. The politically correct battle cry of insecurity is “you shouldn’t judge other people”. Well hello? That’s what we do as humans in an effort to make rational decisions. We observe, judge, develop opinions, and act based on our experience. Even animals do it. The lowly hyena observes another species and makes a judgment for survival. It doesn’t approach the dead antelope until the lion is done with his lunch. Because the hyena makes that judgment based on his knowledge and experience with lions, does that make him a ‘racist’ animal? No, it makes him a smart hyena; capable of sound judgment. Humans do the same thing a thousand times a day.
Race is just one of the many ingredients in any judgment recipe and using too much of anything in a recipe is usually unhealthy or distasteful. Just because we all incorporate race into a mix however, doesn’t make all of us racist.
Unfortunately the list of symptoms that characterize racism has grown exponentially over the last 40 years thus tagging everybody in one way or another. In other words, we all have a little racism in our character. It seems the only people not categorized as racists these days are the loudmouths calling everyone else one.
Stick with me now as we address the political front and the primary reason for these thoughts. It’s pretty evident a lot of love has left the Obama mystique as his overall job approval poll numbers reported by Scott Rasmussen (www.rasmussenreports.com) have dropped from a high of 65% when he took office to 49% one year later. For the sake of this essay it really doesn’t matter what has caused this freefall but rather the fact that reality finally caught up to him. His supporters however, continue to have Camelot expectations.
Conservatives were never onboard, independent thinkers are jumping ship and will eventually be followed by those 2008 voters stricken with Bush fatigue that bought into his ‘messiah’ message, if not the historical significance of putting a black man in the White House. Barack Obama’s problems thus far have nothing to do with the color of his skin however, but rather the ideology he sold to the masses. As more and more people look past the tele-prompter and realize that Barack’s ideas are incongruent with the nature of our republic, the spirit of America, and the genius of the Constitution; the political and racial atmosphere will only get more toxic. Those that bought the campaign rhetoric might discover something about themselves; they aren’t as color blind as they thought. Racist? No, just human.
My observation is that the joy and pride that the African-American community rightly displayed after the 2008 election was replaced soon after with a certain smugness and gloating that shouted, “get out of the way, it’s our turn!” Politically, President Obama enjoyed a lengthy honeymoon. Culturally, the honeymoon ended much more quickly. For his part, Obama has made a commendable effort to rise above race. However, as a result of his methods and policies enacted during his first year in office and the mounting disapproval surrounding them, there is a tremendous risk that they will re-ignite bona fide race issues if people erroneously try to connect imaginary dots between his politics and his race. This would be a tragic development for our society.
I’m a lily white guy that grew up with minorities. I never thought of my best buddy in high school as being a black kid. Sorry Satch, I must not have been paying attention. The first time I figured something was amiss came while at college in Boston during the 70’s watching Southie turn into a desegregation battle field. Frankly, I’ve never given much thought to a person’s skin color so long as they told the truth, delivered what they said they would deliver, worked hard and had a character that girded all the above.
I didn’t vote for Barack Obama for a number of reasons. Topping that list was his inexperience, an embarrassingly barren resume, and the accompanying cultural push for charisma over substance. Three things that have no place in the Oval Office. These things are now burying Barack Obama alive and all the eloquent rhetoric that made independent voters swoon won’t save him.
There was a tremendous push to elect an African American to our highest office. Destiny, history, and progress were all used as reasons for such an effort but these won’t mean a thing if his policies are deemed failures. While the country accepted the color of his skin, it really didn’t know anything about the person under the skin. My concern is that race will become a bigger issue as more people become disenchanted with his ideology. It was an historical election for this country but not a wise one. Barack Obama set the table for other African Americans to seek higher office. Based on the experience so far, has he done them any favors? Racist? No, just human.