Following my last blog post suggesting that President Obama’s presidency is failing, I was accused of being a true Republican, I was accused of being naive and moronic, and I was accused of being negative.
None of these labels are accurate. They are false conclusions based on false assumptions based on extremely limited data. When such data threatens us, our reflex response is to attack the messenger rather than reflect on the message.
The only truth we glean from making judgments based on limited data is the truth of who we are and where our deepest biases lie.
That being said, I don’t want to belabor the point, but I’d like to clarify some things in regard to my opinion that President Obama’s presidency is failing.
The argument posed to me, that it’s only been eleven months, how can I say he’s failing, we need to give him more time before making such judgments and proclamations, provides me with the opportunity to re-visit something that I wrote in a previous blog post about red flags and warning signs in relationships. This issue with President Obama is an important application of that principle:
In a relationship of any kind, if we see red flags and warning signs that there are problems in the relationship, that things are not going smoothly, that there are things which were anticipated to happen which haven’t happened, and we choose to ignore those red flags and warning signs and instead tell ourselves, “It’s okay, give it more time, it’ll all work out,” this is usually an error.
If a promise made during courtship is not fulfilled after the marriage has begun, there is no guarantee that other promises that were made will come to fruition. To say nothing and assume that everything will work out is a problematic tactical maneuver that is just asking for trouble.
It is wiser, perhaps, to acknowledge that the relationship is failing and floundering, based on the unfulfilled promises, because that’s the only way to engage and intervene to get the relationship back on track.
The point is to not deny red flags and warning signs, to not ignore the flaws in the relationship that have been uncovered, but rather to deal with them in order to repair the relationship and to encourage and, hopefully, to insure that future promises are kept.
In regard to President Obama, I’ll use the current Health Care Reform legislation as an example of how he has failed the American people up to now:
Whether you like a public option or not is irrelevant. When Barack Obama courted the American people, when he was trying to engender trust with us such that we would enter into a relationship with him, i.e. elect him, he promised and campaigned for a public option.
Once the relationship was solidified, once he was elected, he didn’t aggressively push for it to happen, and the other day he denied ever having it as part of his campaign platform, despite that fact that he’s on video doing exactly that. This is clearly a misrepresentation of the truth.
To avoid taking responsibility for campaign promises is a major red flag and warning sign we should all be paying attention to, particularly from a person who campaigned for transparency and truth telling in government.
What President Obama has done, in this example, is politics as usual and business as usual, regardless of what benefits may accrue from the health care bill that is finally passed.
Truth be told, the health care reform bill we end up with may be laudatory in some respects, but it is likely to fall short of what it could have been had President Obama fought for the American people the same way he fought to get elected.
How President Obama handled health care reform is a red flag and warning sign that this is how he is going to deal with all his campaign promises, and that we are not going to get what we thought we were getting when we elected him President.
Rather than sit back, say nothing critical and give him more time before expressing our concerns about the decisions he’s making that will dramatically affect all of our lives, perhaps it’s our responsibility to speak out and express our dissatisfaction, with the hope that by doing so we can get him back on the path of real change we can believe in.