“All aboard?” The conductor cries out. The people, men, women, and children file in. The train fills quickly. Finally, after what are only mere minutes, the engine turns. Steam, or today, diesel fumes, billow out the pipes. We are off on a road of no return. It is another election season. In truth, these never really begin nay end. The cycle is as the chug-chug of any locomotive; it is continuous, monotonous, a wearisome drone. The series starts as it always does, with hope, dreams of change, and the catechetic realization that the Messiah has come. Soon we see this redeemer is but a man or woman, a meager mortal. He, be he the President of the United States, the Libyan “Leader,” the “boy next door,” the “good girl,” you or me is not the savior we imagined.
Days, weeks, or months pass. It might even be a near three years. Nonetheless, sooner or later, perchance, all along, we realize he or she did not liberate us from all that keeps us down. Indeed, after a while, the people proclaim Ignore this Mr. President. You already ignore. Yet, in truth, the writer, just as most of the rest of us, ignored reality all along. The promises we attributed to Candidate Obama were not as we thought we heard. On any and most every subject, our redeemer realized as he or she pledged. The problem was, as it is, we ignored, as we do today, the obvious.
Our rescuer never had omnipotent power. He did not come with the supreme excellence we saw in the blinding lights of a projected image. He was as he is — cautious, conservative and well connected. She, too, has her flaws. Diplomacy? That was never her style. She demands. Now he commands. The President, just as the Philanthropist, is the Chief. How did they achieve such authority and acclaim, we the people anointed, appointed and bestowed powers upon them that allow them to speak for us. We knew who he or she was. Yet, we told ourselves, in time, what was would be different. Hence, with all the others, we hopped onboard. Inconvenient realities? Statements and actions contrary to what we wanted to believe? Ah, the public said in harmony, these too will pass.
In 2008 the people could have heard what hearkens forward to today’s veracity. Obama Supports FISA Legislation, Angering Left. As Senator, Barack Obama forgave the indiscretion of wiretaps. He voted for what was characterized as the “compromise Bill.” The compromiser was conciliatory months before he was elected. Six days later, other actions prompted the headline, Obama’s Supreme Move to the Center, just as he has consistently done as President. Perhaps those no longer aboard think of tax breaks and the recent reforms foregone and agreed upon. The President still does. The question is will he again concede and why might this be a possibility? We the people ignored the power of our silent approval.
People persuaded or desperate to believe act as parents of a very young and irresistible child. You may have seen these, easily swayed by cuteness, Moms and Dads on the train. The tot held dearly in the arms of those who love him or her defies any and every request. Still, Mom and Pop smile. Looks or words of scorn are set aside. Parents tell themselves the behavior is but a phase. Besides, in the moment, seconds after the transgression, the child cried out, “I will listen Mom.” “I will not do it again.” Daddy, “I did not mean to.” Just as the caregivers, the bandwagon forgives the unforgivable.
Oh, you protest. “He lied.” “She told an untruth.” “What of the promises, those broken and the ones now characterized as a work in progress?” Well, there always were assurances and excuses. The need to compromise, at least temporarily is a truism, when needed. One can say that the unfilled vows are of this milieu of compromise..
It is we who pledged much, who pulled the wool over our own eyes. When we climbed on board we chose to suspend disbelief. Now we scream.
I am so angry, frustrated, depressed . . . . pick an appropriate descriptive adjective. This is a BAD deal. It would have been far better to have a drawn a line – A LONG TIME AGO. You CANNOT fix the deficit problem simply by cutting . . .
Others muse “I hate Obama,” It seems “support for Obama depends” on the person. Objective observers, if there are any, laugh. How silly the scene. Humans blame others for what they feel. The President did as he said he would do on the campaign trail, for the most part, with few exceptions. Indeed, how many of us when immersed in realities out of our control, acknowledge that perchance, we must take a different path?
Mister Obama is no different than the child who charms a Mom or Dad. Just as any “newborn” does, Barack endeared himself to us by being a novel entrance into our mundane lives. “He is cute!” exclaimed and enthusiastic country. Magazine covers were devoted to his appearance. President Beefcake? was quite the comer. On board that train, heads turned.
You may recall, before “Barry” Obama ever took office a headline read, Time Nears Completion of Every Possible Obama Cover Variation. Joseph Biden also captivated, proclaimed, “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” Biden said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.” How could a bandwagon of people resist that dazzling smile, the cheerful disposition, and the brilliant mind, all in one man? America did not.
I recall my own experience. As someone who did not support Senator Obama for President, I, too, stood in line. I drove miles and waited for hours just to see and hear him. A crowd of thousands packed the stadium. We endured heavy rain as we waited. Yet, all remained patient. Once the doors opened, the ample audience climbed on board. Another long delay did not quell enthusiasm. Nor did the countless oddities. I listened and heard the masses applaud pronouncements that were and are contrary to the supposed “Progressive” platform. I wondered, as did a Sun Sentinel Reporter. The day after the “demonstration” of love and idolatry, Anthony Man penned, Did Obama know where he was for Sunrise rally?
In those days, the American people ignored the glaring contradictions and deluded themselves in regards to the challenges. As a nation, we were enamored. The possibility that someone might show us the way entranced the electorate. People “hoped” this charismatic gentle man, “No Drama Obama” would be the calm after the storm. Thus, with abundant anticipation, people said, ‘Come on board Barack.” Be our Commander-In-Chief. Do as the public thinks should be done even if you never said you would.
A President should lead. A President should stand for something. A President should not be afraid of speaking bluntly – to those who oppose him politically, to those who support him, to the American people.
Today, these same individuals utter in disgust or with much “disappointment” in a man who is as he told us he would be, “ You have on occasion demonstrated that you know how to do that. “ Innumerable inquire with seemingly infinite support, Mister President,” Why did we not hear that blunt speech as this crisis was developing?”
In 2008 you inspired people with your words, with your call to something better…. Increasingly, many of us are giving up, pulling back, because we find we are not listened to. Our concerns, if not ignored, are dismissed.
So go ahead Mr. President. Ignore me. Ignore all the voices that have been trying to explain to you, trying to help you help this country. You might as well. It seems as if you have been ignoring us all along.
In truth, it took two. Hand-in-hand we traveled with our peers, the future President, and together we gave rise to the rally cries. Obama is the Change. We have hope. We believe, “Yes, we, he can!” Once we were all aboard we proclaimed in unison, Senator Obama has the Audacity to Reclaim the American Dream.. He was indeed the candidate with the compelling biography. His mere presence propelled us to become passengers. Today, together on the train once more, riders offer only remorse.
In the days and years to come, persons who never boarded the train, people who remained stalwart on the platform at the station will express the sentiment; once again. The public ignored the candidate who is now President.. Just as assuredly passengers will shriek as they have “There are achievements. I do not deny that. But they are far from what we were promised, far from what we had reason to expect.” Indeed historians and scribes will reason. Nonetheless, proclamations will persist, and defensive postures will seek solace in the safety of a crowd..
People will adopt a plea .“Perhaps it is arrogant to think my personal thoughts are of any value to anyone other than myself. Yet when I offer them, people respond. So long as they do, I will from time to time offer them. As I did yesterday. As I am doing today.” Hmm? Might these words be as candidate and President Obama would say? As long as there are people aboard I am “fired up.” “Ready to go.” Climb onboard Americans. Get ready for another ride.
References. Resources. Rally ‘Round and Ignore . . .
- Obama’s Key Promises. The Washington Post. January 10, 2010
- Obama’s support for the FISA “compromise”. By Glenn Greenwald. Salon. June 21, 2008
- Ignore this Mr. President. You already ignore me. By TeacherKen. Daily Kos. April 9, 2011
- Obama Supports FISA Legislation, Angering Left By Paul Kane. Washington Post. June 20, 2008
- For Incomes Below $100,000, a Better Tax Break in Obama’s Plan, By Steven Greenhouse. The New York Times. October 30, 2008
- Obama, Ryan Agree: Business Tax Codes Need Reform, By Scott Horsley. National Public Radio. April 16, 2011
- Obama’s Campaign Promises: 91 Kept So Far. National Public Radio. January 10, 2010
- Obama new political pitch: Promises kept, By David Jackson. USA Today. April 8, 2011
- Ahead of trip to region, Clinton demands that Qaddafi step down, By Aimée Kligman. Examiner. March 11th, 2011>
- Factbox: Promises, promises: Obama keeps more than he breaks. Reuters.January 24, 2011
- Obama’s Supreme Move to the Center. BY Massimo Calabrees. Time. June 26, 2008
- Promise Broken rulings on the Obameter. PolitiFact.
- Time Nears Completion of Every Possible Obama Cover Variation. By Hamilton Nolan. Time Magazine. January 15, 2009
- Biden’s description of Obama draws scrutiny. Cable News Network. January 31, 2007
- President Beefcake? D.C. magazine to feature shirtless Obama on cover. By Karen Travers and Jake Tapper. ABC News. April 20, 2009
- Did Obama know where he was for Sunrise rally? By Anthony Man. Sun Sentinel. May 24, 2008
- the morning after – a personal reflection By TeacherKen. Daily Kos. April 10, 2011