By Alice Dubenetsky
In a recent interview with the New Yorker magazine, President Obama posited that racism is to blame for his plunging approval polls.
“There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black president,” said the President.
Maybe it’s time someone told the President that there are a lot of reasons for his falling approval among the American people, and race, while possibly a factor for a very small minority of people, isn’t the reason growing numbers of people have an unfavorable opinion of him.
Obama rode into office with the uplifting, if unspecific,message of Hope and Change, which captured the attention of Americans, who believed it promised a new beginning, led by a new sort of politician who would bring us all together, heal old wounds and build bridges across nations. The wave of adulation that swept him into the highest office in the land was on full display in the press, whose swooning reportage failed to include any material research into his background and associations.
Obama was elected on a wave of emotional excitement that was stunning and frightening, given the fact that most of the Americans voting for him knew very little about the man, except that he once gave a rousing speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention. And a very good speech it was, but a little investigatory effort on the part of, well, anyone in the regular media would have uncovered his complete and disturbing lack of qualifications.
When Obama took office, instead of uniting the country, he immediately began segregating Americans like game piece on a board. White, black, rich, poor, Hispanics, women, rednecks and socialites. He showed not a whit of grace or interest in negotiating with, or even listening to, those who disagreed with him, famously castigating John McCain at a Health Care Summit. When McCain noted that the health care bill was not being produced openly, but behind closed doors, the President snapped “we’re not campaigning any more. The election’s over.” In other words, sit down and shut up, John. In speech after speech he berated his opponents, and belittled those who disagreed with him. Instead of leading and bringing about consensus, he did the exact opposite, threatening to “punish his enemies”. Never before has an American president publically shown such complete distain for the American people.
This lack of dignity and leadership was noticed by many, but it was helpfully covered up or explained away by the press, who had invested so much in the “first black President.” As they enabled him to evade responsibility on nearly every issue, they joined him in publically denouncing his detractors, and basically shirked their journalistic responsibilities.
But, as it has a way of doing, the truth began to show it’s ugly underbelly, and the public began to notice, “Something’s not right”. The Administration seemed to be backing the wrong horse on a number of issues, both domestic and foreign. They refused to call the Fort Hood shooting an act of terror, even though it clearly and undeniably was a terrorist attack carried out by a deeply disturbed member of the military. Nidal Hasan had accepted jihad under the tutelage of Yemeni Imam and militant Anwar al-Awaki and opened fire on his fellow soldiers, killing 13 and wounding 30 others. They backed the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, incredibly calling them “mostly secular”. They coddled our enemies and insulted our allies on a regular and alarming basis. And then came Benghazi, the IRS scandal targeting conservative groups who opposed the President, and the wiretapping of journalists. Still, the President was holding his own, sidestepping responsibility. Although his claims that he had no idea what his own administration was doing were and are completely asinine, with the help of his friends in the media, he still managed to shrug off criticism and culpability.
Then a few things happened all at once. The Republican showdown over defunding Obamacare resulted in a government shutdown. The Obama administrations first response? Make Americans hurt. They ordered the closure of all national parks, including the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C., and used as political pawns the best, most honored –and honorable – people in our nation by denying 80 and 90 year old veterans the only chance they would ever have to visit the memorial to their extreme sacrifices. It was purposeful and spiteful – a blatant show of “the Chicago way” on display on the national stage. It mattered not to the Obama administration that the parks belong to the people. In Obama’s world, everything is in service to his own political agenda. In fact, one disgusted Parks worker let it be known that the Obama administration ordered federal workers to “make life as difficult for people as we can.”
And finally, Obamacare rolled out on October 1st, and the American public soon understood that the President who promised Hope and Change was a liar. Millions of people lost their insurance because the law required that insurance companies cover a ridiculously broad range of “essential services”. Existing policies that people had and liked, were no longer legal.
On top of that, the Obama administration, once touted as so capable and sophisticated that it was unlike any that came before it, failed to build a working website, so that those with cancelled policies couldn’t even buy a new one. Anyone lucky enough to finally log on to Healthcare.gov discovered huge price spikes, reduced coverage and higher deductibles – unless they were eligible for government assistance.
What was the response of Obama apologists? A shockingly dismissive attitude toward Americans who for years had done the right thing, bought insurance that worked for them, and handled their own affairs in their own way (i.e., the American way). What the administration failed to factor in was the victims of Obamacare don’t live in a vacuum. They have friends, children, parents and cousins who witnessed the callous way they were being treated, and word started to spread: Obama lied. And lied. And lied. And questions began to be raised: what else did he lie about?
So, President Obama doesn’t need to wonder if racism is the root of his failing approval across the country. The answer is pretty clear: an unqualified candidate became an unqualified President, and the resulting chaos is wreaking havoc everywhere, and now has even reached the deeply personal area of health care.
It’s not his race or the color of his skin that’s at play here. It’s much, much deeper than that.