Monday, July 18, 2016

Fiddler on the Roof

Some black nationalists and mostly white Republicans, of course, are blaming our current social discord on President Obama and, naturally, his ally and Democratic presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. I think the blamers insulting and wrong.

Obama tried to legislate with an obstructionist Republican majority Congress in both Houses. He is NOT a monarch. He needed the acquiescence of our first Constitutional branch, the Legislature. It is not that he did not want to pass, for example, the Dream Act. HE DID but could not get it passed so he resorted to Executive Orders and did the best he could. He saved SCOTUS which if Trump is elected will wax conservative for generations eradicating progress in race relations achieved over centuries. Obama took insult after insult he did not deserve. He did, I WHOLLY believe, NOT mean this discord to be so. In response to the Dallas and Baton Rouge killings of police Obama was at his finest. His addresses to the nation after these ugly tragedies were magnificently and eloquently written into history among the presidential best.

In my opinion, the one thing the president did in error that brought him an utterly disloyal obstructionist Republican Congressional majority is he did not sell his Affordable Care Act well enough. Republicans poisoned the well and then in 2010/2012 took back the Congress. The Financial collapse, the rescuing of the big banks and CEO’s handing themselves bonuses while the middle class died created anger and resentment that, in truth, belonged in Republican laps as the collapse did not happen on Obama’s watch. I will not countenance eviscerating this president without objection because he saved the nation against incredible odds!

We now, it seems, know the hater and killer of the Baton Rouge police had a Sovereign Citizen government loathing philosophy but, in fact, rare for that usually white right wing extremist group, he was a person of color. Trump will and is indicting both Obama and Hillary as responsible for the discord that hovers over our nation like a shroud. Again, Trump and his minions lie, lie, and lie some more trying to appeal to the lesser angels of our nation’s nature. The president has tried to unite. His voice of unification is magnificent.

The words that initially brought him into the national vision were unforgettable. He said at the 2004 Democratic convention in Obamian cadence: "This is not a white America. This is not a black America. This is the UNITED STATES of America!" Obama is the uniter-in-chief. I do not know what these Republican merchants of hate want from this man or, for that matter, Hillary but I HOPE their mendacity will not be a poison pill swallowed by the nation. Trump, if elected, will be the DIVIDER in chief.

I believe President Obama has been one of our greatest presidents who was placed in untenable situations not of his making. Despite this, he saved our nation from total collapse, rescued the auto industry, reduced unemployment, improved the economy and tried to end the war in Iraq. If he did not perfect his entire agenda successfully, as the psychiatrist, Robin Williams, said to Matt Damon, his patient for suppressed hauntings of an abusive father in the film Good Will Hunting, it was “NOT your [his] fault.”

Our nation stands by a single thread – the consent of the governed – but it is NOT an indestructible tie. Our democracy, imperfect but free, stands like the proverbial fiddler on the roof balancing his safety while playing a fiddle on top of a slanted roof. He risks his life if a wind blows, his balance compromised, and he falls. This is a metaphor for our nation in our time. If the precarious balance of this huge nation is destroyed by the true forces of division, perhaps then, we will realize just how much we have lost. 


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