Tuesday, November 06, 2012


The angry sixty percent

Yesterday I received a forwarded e-mail from a friend.  The friend and the guy who sent him the same forwarded e-mail were, like me, two old white guys.  According to the polls, the strongest support any Republican Presidential candidate has is this group of old white guys.  At least sixty percent of us are loyal Republicans.  Or, if not loyal Republicans, sixty percent of us support Romney because we detest Mr. Obama.

This sentiment is evidence to me that racial prejudice is still alive and thriving in the United States.  Four years ago the sixty percent grudgingly accepted Obama and hoped he would turn out to be a remarkable and memorable leader.  In fact, a lot of us who are not members of the sixty percent group expected and hoped for great things from this young man from Chicago.

He has disappointed us.  He has not been a Nelson Mandela, a Mahatma Gandhi, a Desmond Tutu, a Martin Luther King, jr.  At best he has been a big change from George W. Bush.  He may not be the great leader we hoped for, but at least he has been competent.

He has also been and always will be an "African-American."  That's the rub.  The sixty percent of white guys, old and young, will not accept an African-American as President unless he is as inspiring and as effective a leader as Mandela or Gandhi.  Mr. Obama has been neither of these.  For example, when the Occupy movement was started, a Gandhi would have left the White House and joined the movement as its leader.  Let the Republicans and Democrats in Washington simmer; show the public where your true sympathies are and do something political and effective that doesn't involve Washington.  When the Bush Administration left office, leaving behind a record of torture, a needless war, arrogation of constitutionally forbidden power, and other high crimes and misdemeanors, a Mandela would have put together a truth and reconciliation commission and invited Mr. Rumsfeld, Mr. Yoo, Mr. Gonzales, and others to own up to what they had done and at least offer public apologies.  These would have been great acts of leadership.  Mr. Obama didn't go near them.

The sixty percent might accept a man with a brown skin if he were a great and inspiring leader.  Mr. Obama has been merely a competent President, dealing with a bad economic problem and a snarling, uncooperative Congress.
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