22 Jan

Enthusiasm Gap

Louise Annarino

January 22, 2012

A pragmatist seeking to change direction finds a way, despite the obstacles put in his path.Rep. Boehner refusing to bring a vote to the floor, continual Republican filibusters in the House and Senate, Reps. Mitchell, Cantor et. al. affirming they will do everything possible to create a failed presidency, PACS distorting and lying about President Obama’s successes. The brick walls are numerous, tall and wide.

Republicans should do this.This is what the Republican Party must do to win elections. Their policies message do nothing to produce jobs, decrease the deficit over the long term, curb excesses and corruption among the moneyed class which controls banking, investment, insurance and health industries (these used to be considered services, not industries), or create a more secure world. Thus, they must attack Democratic incumbents. This is the game of politics. If you have no message, use ad hominem attacks and distort the opponent’s message. Of course they should do this. And Obama supporters should understand this; but, too many of us seem to fall for it.

We human beings are ego-driven. If someone does not pull the car in the driveway the right way, or adds sugar to their sauce, or snorts when they laugh instead of chuckling, we roll our eyes! At any gathering one will find secret glances stolen when someone in the group doesn’t measure up to scrutiny. Sometimes it is better to withhold judgement and simply support one another; not in blind acceptance, but in shared consideration of the difficulties of life, and our common humanity. Sometimes, subliminal racial bias distorts our sense of common humanity.

President Obama told us over and over “We are the change”; we, not just him. A lesser man would have crumbled under the racist onslaught he, Michelle and their children face ever day. I heard recently that Michelle gets more death threats than the president. Do those who feel less enthusiastic about this president have any idea what such attacks do to a person? Could you handle it so well as the Obama family handles it? Recall the racist images on signs at Tea Party rallies. Listen to the Republican debates as presidential contenders talk code, and define American values as those of a white racist past, rather than the enlightened American values the Democratic Party and President Obama stand for. Newt Gingrich won a primary with a high turnout from the old order of South Carolina. But most of America lives in a new day. If we can get people registered and to the polls; and, if the 2012 polls are run fairly, Democrats will see that the  majority of Americans support an enlightened America and President Obama.

When a pragmatist hits a brick wall (in today’s political environment this has become the norm) he climbs over it, digs under it, or goes around it. This takes more time, more effort, and can look foolish. But, in the long run, it works. Instead of catcalls from those disappointed he did not tear down the wall (and satisfy their egos) they could help him. Put out your hands to boost him over the wall. Pick up a shovel and dig under the wall. Or, chart a course he can use to circumvent the wall. And cheer him on as he struggles on our behalf. President Obama is a pragmatist. He is a man of vision who takes the long view. He is like us, hopes that getting to the goal can be done easily; and, when it cannot, changes his strategy. He never gives up. Neither should we.

Enthusiasm is overrated. Hard work, willingness to take the hard knocks and get back up, persistence, and willingness to appear foolish at times are underrated. When we put the two styles together we are invincible. We must, take the time to review President Obama’s many accomplishments during his first term. Has he made mistakes? Who hasn’t? Has he course-corrected when he did? Yes, he has. He does not make excuses, nor cover them up. He owns them and corrects them. That is a president I can be enthusiastic about!



One Response to “ENTHUSIASM GAP”

  1. Karen Boltz January 23, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    Based on the people at Republican rallies and debates in South Carolina, one would assume the state is populated entirely by descendants of northern Europeans. When I lived in Charleston, S. C. in 1965 and 1966 these same people were still bitter about the Civil War and despised “yankees”. They enjoyed comfortable lifestyles (if you had money, it went a lot farther in the South than it did in Ohio), mostly based on the submission and poverty of the majority of their state’s citizens. I imagine they now represent a smaller segment of the population and are terrified of losing their entitled status. Their last hope is the G.O.P. (as their Guardians of Privilege).
    Gingrich did well by appealing to the basest of human frailties, fear and bigotry. Albert Einstein said the only way to overcome racism is through enlightenment and education and yet Gingrich has the finest of educations. I can only assume he has deliberately chosen a dark path. His contempt for the poor, which is his word for being black, is something he can openly express to his supporters, even his poorly educated white constituency. Don’t they realize that he has equal contempt for them?

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