Any God can forgive sin. No God can forgive ingratitude. This statement dates back thousands of years to India, but remains relevant. One current example is the shameful treatment of Barack Obama after all he has accomplished despite groundless but fierce, determined, and prolonged opposition.
It all started somewhere around 2008. Now, I am not enamoured of the form of democracy that has evolved in the USA. Fund raising trumps governing, frequent elections deny continuity, and 2-party dominance limits independent voices. But locally what did bother me was to walk or drive around our neighbourhood with beautiful lawns and gardens obscured with hundred of signs promoting candidates of the GOP, once the Grand Old Party but now the Guardian of Privilege. Naively believing we were all friends, I thought a little variety would ease eyestrain so I planted on our corner lot two Obama-Biden signs.
The next morning I awoke to find I was the recipient of the generous gifts of numerous rolls of toilet paper, but first I had to untangle them from the numerous trees that grace our lot. I also had to find and replace the Obama-Biden signs that some earthquake activity had thrown some distance. In fact I had to replace them five times.
Then my education was enhanced by numerous and continuous e-mails depicting Obama to rank among the most evil of humans, accompanied by assertions that he was illegal having been born in Kenya, Indonesia, or, perhaps, hell. Assertions by my good friend, Diana DeLuca, also a blogger, that she was a professor in Hawaii and knew Obama’s mother at the time of his birth were dismissed and accused to her face of being fabrications. I was given compliments such as being a communist, being a senile old fool, and being ungrateful to the super wealthy because no poor man could ever offer me a job. I tried to remember when a rich man had ever offered me a cabbage or a potato or taught my children ethics. I did thank those for the compliment of telling me I was full of CRAP. It is so good to know that they know I am full of Concerned Respect for All People.
Back in 2008 with the start of the Obama presidency the belief that the powerful United States would stop its worldwide economic and political interference created such euphoria that a Nobel prize was awarded in anticipation. One of the first goals was to raise the bottom-of-the-list standing in health care. Yes, the US did have some of the world’s best care but that was the monopoly of the politicians, military, and wealthy.
The political opposition quickly adopted a “destroy Obama at all costs” battle plan agreeing to practically nothing he proposed. Commercial interest joined in. Being familiar with UK and Canadian plans with single payers, I was aghast at the misinformation and outright lies published to criticize them as Obama desired to incorporate aspects of them. My computer screen was infested with daily Obama condemnations.
In spite of all this it is quite remarkable that Obama has accomplished as much as he has in areas such as the environment, climate change, the economy, and in military restraint as he tried to assess the failures of our excessive but inadequate military strength in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. Nobody remembers Osama bin Laden so why mention him? What Obama could have accomplished with a co-operative opposition is unknown but perhaps a review of his failures may provide a clue: He wanted to close Guantanamo but it remains a blight as does the entire penal system. Obama dislikes Netanyahu and the current Egyptian regime but still finances the aggression of both. We still have a lethal debt that must be paid off soon. His approach to tax the wealthy and restrain the military faces crippling GOP opposition who prefer to cut social programs for the less affluent. This debt is so frightening we all must contribute to its demise and that includes sacrifices of each of us in our standard of living with no privileged exceptions.
On the road to the November elections $4 billion was wasted on mostly negative TV ads that greatly lowered one’s respect for voter intelligence and for what they call democracy. For months my computer screen welcomed me each day with a minimum of four requests for money to support wasteful TV political advertisements. Incensed, I diverted my donations to organizations that were efficiently doing good around the world. I sought refuge in science where great minds, with so many different viewpoints, can still co-operate worldwide in the search for knowledge.
Yet I still lament that this country, so blessed by geography that we continue to abuse, and so full of excellent humans that rank among the world’s best, can be so ruled by Self-Interest. It has always been an aggressor nation led by a few who are themselves led by Greed that creates hatred abroad and overshadows all the good that many of our philanthropists donate.
Obama was such a breath of fresh air - and we let him down - or has he let us down by coddling up to fund-raising interests and forgetting many of his promises?