It's about our community and our spirituality!

Diminishing Returns

I got an email from President Obama’s reelection campaign about a month ago.  I looked at it for a hot second.  I thought about all the money that will be pumped into the effort to get Mitt Romney elected and it seemed like a good idea for no other reason than somebody, a lot of bodies, need to step forward to keep the country from going back to the conservative principles that helped to put the country and the world into the economic malaise we find ourselves in today.  More and more money is being concentrated into the hands of a few while less and less money is being put into service for the people.

Taxes are at their lowest point in years and yet some people think the way to prosperity is to tax even less so that we can stay competitive with the rest of the industrial world.  But while the rest of the industrial world provides universal healthcare and prioritize educational funding and forego the heavy investment in a national defense, nobody says anything about doing what the rest of the world does.  Conservatives say they want to get government off of our collective backs and restore freedom to the masses, but all of that is nothing more than patriotic rhetoric without much in the way of substance.  What business or wealthy individual is actually being oppressed in America?

The next President will have an opportunity to put another justice or two on the Supreme Court.  The thought of another Alito or Thomas or Scalia or Roberts on the nation’s high court to supplement the conservatives already there really is a frightening thought.  The already conservative high court thinks that legal instruments defining corporations have some of the same rights as people and the best path to racial equality is to pretend that there is no such thing as racial discrimination.  Who knows what evils await us with a court that would recognize religious freedom as the freedom of the wealthy to impose their religious beliefs on others.  The high court has already proved itself to be no different than the other government branches when it comes to partisan politics.  The idea of it becoming more conservative really doesn’t bode well for people who understand that the best way forward is to adapt to the future instead of trying to go back to a long dead past.

I thought of this and more when I saw the email.  But then I had to think about Mr. Obama’s performance as commander in chief and I have to admit the man has had a less than stellar performance.  I understand he was working with a Congress where each and every conservative member was the equivalent of a hostile enemy combatant.  Conservatives did their best to sabotage his presidency at each and every opportunity.  They didn’t just hope he failed.  They actively worked for his failure and the failure of the country.  In the mind of many conservatives, it is better for the country to drag it through economic hardship that is on the verge of ruin to get rid of the guy than to help make things better and give him the opportunity to stay in the oval office for another four years.  Why would I want someone in the White House who would actually think it best to ruin the country for partisan gain?  That doesn’t add up.

But honestly, Mr. Obama has been a party to his own demise from the day he stepped into the White House as resident.  Time and time again he compromised away his political advantage and sought the high road with people who were determined to undermine him and the country with a headstrong pursuit of an agenda that would guarantee gridlock and stagnation.  Time to raise the debt ceiling as has always been the case for every President for a generation.  This time, instead of it being an automatic process to keep the government running smoothly, it has become a show of brinkmanship designed to cause economic worry and anxiety for the country and the world.  It got passed, but not before the economy tanks a bit to put the brakes on the recovery.

And as a black constituent who gave his hard earned money to Mr. Obama’s campaign four years ago and voted to put the man in the White House, Mr. Obama has returned the favor with backhanded comments such as he doesn’t want to be the President of black America and black fathers need to stop being so unreliable and black people need to shut up, take the bedroom slippers off, don the marching boots and get behind him, and black kids need to stop playing video games and work hard like the children who work hard in other countries.  His contempt for people in the black community is hard for me to ignore.

I understand that as a black man who has been given the keys to the kingdom by the people.  And to keep his good standing he has to downplay his affiliation with black people in order to be more appealing to the masses.  But he plays this role so well it honestly makes me wonder about his true opinion of black people.  It is a fact that the black community continues to suffer the highest unemployment rate of any racial segment of the country.  While the white community deals with unemployment rates hovering around seven percent, the black community has to suffer through twice that number at fourteen percent.  And instead of doing anything to help the black community, Mr. Obama hides behind his own rhetoric claiming that he can’t past laws that puts the needs of one segment of America above another.

However, he conveniently forgets that notion when it comes time for him to advocate giving veterans priority for certain jobs.  Not that they may or may not deserve a little advantage for the service they’ve given to their country and then have to deal with prejudice against veterans in the work place.  But don’t do this and then say you’re hands are tied and you can’t do anything against the prejudice against black people when it comes time for them to join the work force.

With that in mind, I don’t think I’ll be giving Mr. Obama any campaign donations this time around.  I did it four years ago and didn’t get much of a return on my investment.  High dollar individuals have done well under Mr. Obama’s tenure.  You would think they would be doing more to support him and keep their good times rolling.  But like many things in politics, that’s just too logical.  They need one of their own in the hot seat who knows how to run a business.  They want someone like George Bush, Jr.  That man ran a business and ran a state and came into the White House with all that experience to run the country into the ground with his promise of trickledown economics.  These people can’t help themselves but to go back to regressive ways that benefit only a few.

But just like those people can’t help who they are, black people who continue to support Mr. Obama enthusiastically and economically can’t help who they are.  Although four more years of getting Mr. Obama’s backhand sounds a lot better than the conservative guy who promises to institute policies that will give black people the shaft, why act like Mr. Obama has been good for us?  Mr. Obama’s record deserves scrutiny and we demand answers.  What is going to be different the next time around?  So far I haven’t heard much.  And until I do I see no reason to give money so black people can be treated with disdain.  I might vote for Mr. Obama come November.  He’s the lesser of two evils.  But right now, I’m far from donating a dime to get him back so he can just backhand me some more.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012 - Posted by | Life, Thoughts

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