Listen to Ed Schultz of MSNBC. He has summed up exactly where we stand today in our fight for what is right. He continues in his support of Barack Obama, although not blindly and without criticism. Yet, Schultz admits, not as an excuse but simply as an explanation, that our problems in this country go much deeper and are more widespread than merely assigning the role of scapegoat to President Obama. Take the time to watch the video in its entirety:
I will not reiterate all of his well-taken points. The problem is two-pronged. On one hand, we have the oppositional GOP working for nothing except the demise of President Obama. Historically they have never cared about your everyday, middle class American and have always designed their legislative agenda to benefit the industrial/financial complex and the economic elite. On the other hand, we have our very own Democratic members gaming the system for their own selfish desires and special treatment.
Schulz is correct: health care reform is the lynch pin, the premier issue, that typifies the disgraceful disregard our government has for the people. Our President and members of Congress have lost sight of their initial goals and job descriptions. Each and every level of both parties are culpable for deceiving and abandoning the public.
It is not relevant or productive to dump this whole mess in the lap of President Obama. Sure, his methods need some backbone and refinement. He has abandoned loyalty to his base in his quest for reconciliation of all factions, which is a political impossibility. What infuriates me the most are those people, his supporters, who turn on a dime from blind adoration of our President one day to utter hatred the next. They have not one ounce of patience or guts.
After trashing the President, these people then proceed to regale the likes of FDR, JFK and even John Edwards. Their thinking is impulsive with no homework to back it up. They substitute lazy intellects for inflammatory rhetoric. FDR was not the beloved savior during his time in office. In fact, his New Deal programs were often criticized. Furthermore, these people who have elevated FDR to sainthood fail to acknowledge that he turned away from our shores boatloads of Jewish refugees, who had to reverse course and face ultimate death in Europe. JFK held office for only three years. He was young, energetic and a fabulous speaker. But wait: does anyone remember the Bay of Pigs? Had he lived, it would have been interesting to see how history would have treated him, politically and with his sexual peccadilloes in tow. Also, do you remember Presidential candidate John Edwards? For some voters, he was the apple of middle class America’s eye. Do you think that his supporters did their fact checking, bringing to light his sleazy courtroom tactics to win liability/malpractice suits at any cost? Why the surprise when his sordid contemptibility spilled over into his personal life?
Having in-vogue heroes and trendy goats serves no purpose. By elevating any public figure to the rank of savior can only result in disappointment. But for Heaven’s sake, neither be so eager to trample someone whom you once supported so vigorously. President Obama has held office for merely one year, certainly not enough time to erase the deeply harmful effects of the last 28 years of Presidential tenures. Also, this one year is not enough time to allow the President to implement new policies, some which are totally experimental for America, like health care reform.
Likewise, with the media, it is either anoint him or bury him, for the sake of entertainment ratings, personal ego-stroking or the venting of individual miseries. The opposing, wildly-fluctuating extremes of various media opinions invalidates most of their thoughts. How can these purveyors of public commentary be the President’s cheerleader one minute and his executioner the next?
It is a given that the mainstream television and radio journalists will say anything to bolster their ratings. In the print and especially the internet media, slipshod writing with the single intent to provoke and be melodramatic serves no one. It just causes the sacrifice of literary coherency, content and any kind of structure, like grammar, punctuation and spelling, to sheer emotionalism. Disheveled writing, disheveled mind. In this manner, the writer’s intended premise loses real meaning and is replaced by a vindictive, fleeting, exploitive punch of sensationalism. Further, when treed for their wildly fluctuating political opinions, these media mavens accuse people of making politics personal. Nothing is more “personal”, i.e. insulting, than baiting the public with fickle commentary just to validate the author’s personal predictions in order to assuage his ego.
Politics has to be more than blowing off steam in order to make a point. Today some former supporters are feeling pretty good because their criticism of Obama has some legs. What about the fulfillment of serving the greater good? Is their ego gratification enough, or do they really want to implement change? Does their “being right” about Obama make them feel better for what has transpired? If their answers to the last two questions are “Yes”, then they are in the same class as our Congressmen who run roughshod over the wishes of the people just to attain their own selfish goals. Better to flow with the ups and downs, study the subject and provide reasonable criticism coupled with continued support.
Clearly, in their quest for those overrated fifteen minutes, the media are not interested in securing the needed legislation, but instead, use their outlets, be it newscasts, talk shows or blogs, as a psychiatrist’s couch for their own mental relief. Sloppy journalism coupled with emotional, vengeful hysteria is just as harmful to real reform as is our politicians’ subversive and selfish agendas.
Please understand that I welcome reasonable criticism of the President. The flaw here is not the criticism; it is the volatile progression from love to hate. Me thinks these everyday individuals, bloggers and news people are really railing at their own predicaments, at some dissatisfaction within themselves and their own lives.
President Obama’s mission now has to be to seek action to get the job done. No more talk. Eloquent speeches will not fill the bill anymore. Actions are required regardless of the risk they may entail. Our President has to put himself behind his convictions despite the possible effects such efforts may have in the voting booths. For him to stay the course he is currently on is neither here nor there, and carries much more risk and ridicule than a more forceful position would.
Stand and deliver. Ed Schultz is so on target about the health care issue and the necessity of supporting President Obama. Another moderate, steady voice has been Andrew Sullivan. To President Obama, to our elected lawmakers, to every American: get out there and fight for what is rightfully ours. Do not kill the messenger, for Barack Obama is still the best shot we have at affecting change. He just has to learn, as we all do, the proper way to deliver that change. And he needs more time. The chance is no worse than what we have now and the risk is worth taking.