Barack Obama has been president for a year as of today, and everybody wants to know, aren’t you disappointed? Well, no, because I did not expect him to wave his magic fingers and instantly solve all of our problems. He has consistently succeeded at the one thing I most wanted him to do, which is not be George W. Bush. When the Haiti quake happened and Barack came on TV to talk about it, it was great to remember that we had someone in charge who is smart and actually cares.
Let’s try to keep things in perspective. Total financial apocalypse seems to have been avoided; things may be improving more slowly than anybody likes, but they are improving. Do you wish John McCain was president right now? And that’s not the worst thing that could have happened; in the days leading up to the election, I spent some sleepless hours haunted by a vision of McCain pulling off a miraculous upset and being so shocked that he dropped dead of a heart attack, making Dingbat president. The USA would have been a smoking hole in the ground by March at the latest.
So let’s count our blessings. By way of calming down, have a listen to this audio clip I found on the CD I Can Hear It Now: The Sixties, where John F. Kennedy talks about his first year in office:
JFK: The Problems Are More Difficult Than I Imagined Them To Be
It pains me to point out that in addition to being an elitist–“we had someone in charge who is smart”–you also have an ageist bigotry. You don’t want the old guy to get the job because he might kick the bucket at any moment!
But as one old guy on Medicare Advantage, I am indeed counting my blessings. It was the “Miracle of Massachusetts” on Tuesday. Now I have hope that my health care plan won’t be gutted any more than it already was for 2010 (since I don’t live in Florida).
Don’t know if the old man is being scarcastic, but if wanting an intellegent president makes one an “elitist”, count me in. Probably the first time this hillbilly has been in that group.
On another note, sometimes I don’t post on face book because certain people always comment and I don’t want to hear it. But now I realize I always comment on the philter. Bill, let me know if you’d like me to shut my trap.
It pains me to think that the Shrub snickering at President Obama’s approval rating. Being President is the most challenging job on the planet and the Shrub’s legacy is making the job impossible.
Merle, do not deny your blathering ways.
Thanks for this perspective-shifting piece. Even my own peeps are beginning to express impatience (At least those down at the local, African American barbershop) with the President’s progress. It helps to remember just how deep the hole was and that the filling may be slow.
Re Merle’s “don’t know if the old man is being sarcastic.” Me neither!
Actually I’m as elitist as the next guy (pardon the gender-specificity). Who isn’t impressed with a President who, quoting Senator Reid, “doesn’t use Negro dialect except when he wants to.” Hey, me neither!
Seriously & non-sarcastically, the problem with preferring smart folks to run things is the historically unsupported assumption that smart folks make better decisions. The fact is that the opposite is often true. I’ve always suspected it’s due to smart folks possessing more intellectual tools with which they can obscure reality & fail to see common sense.
With reference to our incumbent President, I think one of his blind spots is his apparent assumption that things get done by making speeches about them. I get the feeling that he is most comfortable in the role of “front man,” trying to sell the decisions of others, such as his advisors and his party’s senators and congresspersons (non-gender-specific, cause we mustn’t forget Nancy Pelosi fer sure).
But feel free to ignore me. I’m just one of those old guys symbolically yelling “Get off my lawn!”
Hi Old Man,
You make interesting points that are worthy of our attention, IE, I won’t ignore you.
I have to disagree with your point that smart people don’t necessarily make better decisions. I think typically they do. Do you know anyone who drives an Escalade or Hummer? If so, are they smart or dumb (our current govenor included)? On the other hand, most people have varying degrees of selfdestructiveness, regardless of their intellegence level, which can impact their ability to make smart decision.
One of the president’s most important roles is that he represents our country to the rest of the world. I was embarrased by our last president. I think he made us all look dumb in their eyes. At least this president represents that Americans are smart, articulate, diverse, etc.
However, I think it’s important not to confuse eduction with intellegence. There are plenty of college educated, even ivy league, dumbasses and many very smart folks with no higher education at all.
As to the charges of elitism at those who supported Obama. The guy comes from a working class family. He put himself through college and law school. On the other hand, McCain, the Bushes, etc, come from deeply entrenched political extremely wealthy families. Which side had the elitist candidate?
Lastly, I enjoy your posts. I see where your son gets his writing talent.