Things were so much easier when Bush and Cheney were maniacally destroying the world. Sure, things are still coming out about the secret programs they authorized. For the most part, the country – no matter which side you were on – knew what was happening. Some of us knew they were destroying lives all over the world and taking away our rights in the US because they didn’t try to hide it. The rest of people accepted what was being done because they thought it made the country safer. Now, we have a guy in office who says he will restore our constitutional rights, but his actions communicate something different. We have a leader who promised to shut down Guantanamo (which, itself isn’t that big of a deal, since we have dozens of other Guantanamos throughout the world), but is making no progress. In fact, he has made it so more people can be locked up with less chance of getting out. He led people to believe that he was – while maybe not anti-war – appalled by what was happening in the Middle East and would do everything in his power to end it. However, the war in Iraq has no end in sight (with more bases being built every time I blink my eyes) and the “good” war in Afghanistan is causing more and more deaths. Some people saw this coming, but the vast, vast majority of the country was blinded by this smooth talking, liberal president and what he represents (or seemed/seems to represent). Obama is trying to ensure that we all have health care (or most of us anyway), and that would be a good thing, it’s just that I have trouble celebrating the fact that I may be able to go to the doctor one day, while hundreds of people are dying, losing family members, being tortured, or disappearing every single day because of the orders of this same person.
I always get called naive when I point out the fact that politicians are politicians. For example, Obama got angry when he witnessed the incident with the Harvard professor. Obama should get angry when he has to comment on an incident like this. If this was something that happened once in a while, he should get as angry as he did, but knowing (as I’m sure he does) that this happens in every city, probably every day; one would be hard pressed to find a person of color who hasn’t been harassed by the police, his initial response was extremely subdued. When I tell more mainstream people that I think Obama under reacted, that he should be in front of the press pointing out that police are inherently corrupt (despite the fact that the majority of police officers may be good individual people). He should be pointing out that there is still slavery in this country. But he won’t because – as my mainstream friends and family tell me – he would lose votes, he would lose support on other things he is trying to accomplish. When I try to point out that maybe, possibly, there is a small chance that our whole system is beyond repair and if Obama was 1/10th of what people have made him out to be, he would not care about re-election or gaining more support from right wingers; he would represent the people on the bottom, and not just in the US, but around the globe. We spent eight years with a guy who was unapologetic about his racism, sexism, classism, and genocidical tendencies. And maybe that way was better because at least we began to open to the things actually happening.