Thursday, October 28, 2010

Obama - The Perfect Stranger

Don’t tell me - I don’t want to know.

Ever known someone who is head over heels for someone they just met?

When it comes to love, people do stupid things. They wind up hooking up with people they hardly know, even committing to spend the rest of their lives with them. No, it usually isn’t love. It is some form of lust, or a intense need to be wanted, or a desperation to be settled in. Whatever it is, it happens frequently, and usually people outside the relationship see it coming and have serious doubts.

In 2008, the American public was just such a lonely lover. The war was unpopular, Washington was unpopular, and the country was craving for something new. This was the perfect storm for the perfect stranger. Enter Obama.

Not only did the public have an underlying need for something positive in their lives, something upbeat and different, but also a need for change. Couple this with the guilt many white Americans carry over the racial thing, and Barrack was the perfect answer. Not only is he the perfect stranger, he is black! We can elect him and our guilt is gone! And to many of us who don’t feel racial guilt, the idea of a black person as president is still positive. I would not vote for someone because they are or are not black, but if all else is equal, I might give the black person the nod - just because. And because I know the pride it would give the black community.

Not that Obama isn’t a charming and tempting figure anyway. Commentators have drooled over his speaking ability. And his ability to capture a crowd, especially a crowd that wanted to be captured, hasn’t been seen in as long a time as I can remember. And, given that the mainstream media was part of the crowd that wanted to be captured, the blind enthusiasm was likely to be powerful and swift. It was.

Of course, when you find out this perfect stranger who is charming a friend of yours has serious faults, you tell your friend, but they don't want to know about it. They pass off your comments as jealousy, ignorance, or blindness. Or they may just say that regardless, things will work out because this person is wonderful, and they are in love.

Most of the time, the star-struck friend will, given some time, see the error of their passion. Hopefully, no life altering decisions are made while under the spell, and after a time of mourning (mourning their own foolishness as well as the loss of a dream) they get back to business. Usually, however, there is considerable residue of embarrassment.

In the christening of Barrack Obama, we saw a country (at least a voting majority) fall in love with the Perfect Stranger. We wake up one morning and here is this handsome, charming, well-spoken man talking about hope and change. He was gorgeous. He was the solution to all our problems. He made us feel hopeful again instead of concerned and stressed about our futures. He claimed to represent everyone - all minorities, poor white people, union members - everyone except the rich. (A little taste of Robin Hood never hurts for a little extra sizzle.) Nobody knew anything about him; nobody wanted to - especially those we count on for information, the media. They wanted to believe. His mystery and lack of experience and record turned out to be one of his best assets. He could paint himself any way he wanted. And like the Perfect Stranger, we painted him any way we wanted to as well.

Of course, he didn’t spell out for us the nature of the hope and change referred to because he didn’t want to, and because we didn’t ask. Nor did we want to know. And when people started digging into his past, apparent causes for concern were dismissed by the media and the Followers as either not relevant, or happened way too long ago to mean anything. Worse, many were just plain ignored. For instance, how anyone in their right mind can believe that this man they think is so intelligent could sit in church led by a vile, hate-spewing racist pastor and “not know” what was being preached is remarkable. They did not want to believe anything was wrong with their savior.

As with your friend’s Perfect Stranger, Mr. Obama could not keep the mask on forever. Eventually the truth emerged; notably that he is a great speaker, but a poor decision maker and leader. Throw on top of that his policies are in direct opposition to the views of large majorities of the American people, and we get the extent of this incredible snow job. A colossal bust. An enormous mistake.

Unlike your friend who can immediately take steps to correct the problem and end the relationship, we are stuck. Sure, we had the midterm elections, and they no doubt cast evidence of our displeasure. But we still have the object of our disappointment at the helm. We wake up every morning, watch the news, and cringe at this impostor of a president, knowing we have to suck it up for two more years before we can get him out of our lives. We already know the damage he has caused to date. We can only hope the damage he causes in the future will be minimal.

So, listen girls, when your Dad warns you about knowing someone before you get your hopes up, listen to him. He's giving you good advice.

Mercer Tyson

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