By: Gary J Verdes
I have been thinking a lot about the way President Obama has been criticized throughout his Presidency, and if he hasn’t had enough, I have.
Not being a supporter of President Obama, voting for McCain in 2008, and Gary Johnson in 2012 I feel it’s time someone stood up for both the Office of the Presidency, and the man who currently holds it.
I was raised up to believe that during the campaign you support the person who you thought would best run the country for the things you believed in, and once the campaign was over you would support the person who won, and that person would be all America’s President, if you voted for that person or not.
So when did that change?
As I see it the change seems to have taken place sometime in President Clinton’s term’s, no matter what he did or did not do the other side just wanted a fight. It then continued through President Bush’s Presidency and he neither could do anything right to please the other side, and now it’s President Obama’s and he has gotten the worst of all the Presidents before him, and I believe it will be noted as the worst of any who come after him too.
So let’s take a look at some of the Truths or Myths about President Obama and put them to the test!
First; Recently there has been lots of criticism of the President’s vacation time and the number of days the President has taken. Let’s compare it to some of his predecessors; so far, President Obama has taken 61 vacation days after 31 months in office. In 1798, President John Adams left the capital for seven months to care for his ailing wife Abigail; his enemies said he practically relinquished his office. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison routinely went away for three- and four-month stretches. Abraham Lincoln, during the Civil War, was blasted for spending about 25 percent of his time away from the White House. Dwight Eisenhower took long summer breaks in Denver and spent almost every single weekend at Camp David. John F. Kennedy rarely spent a weekend in the White House, staying at family homes in Palm Beach, Hyannis Port, and the Virginia countryside. Lyndon Johnson spent 484 days in five and a half years at his Texas ranch. Ronald Reagan was away for 436 days, usually at Rancho del Cielo (his mountaintop retreat in California) or Camp David. George W. Bush spent 32 months at his ranch (490 days) or Camp David (487 days) an average of four months away every year. In any case, the hard truth is that the President of the United States is never really on vacation, at best, they are working vacations. He goes on vacation with a small army in the range of 200 aides, Secret Service, communications and transportation personnel accompany him. He gets daily intelligence and national security briefings and has an extensive network of whatever is needed to stay on top of whatever situations happen anywhere in the world. If you really want to get mad at someone about vacation time, how about the members of Congress? They have 239 days off this year alone. Some of the same people complaining about the President’s vacation are on vacation. Because in politics there is no time off from hypocrisy!
Second; President Obama has played more golf than any President in history; this isn’t even close to being true. Now, there’s no question that he plays on a regular basis: 104 rounds from January 2009 through August 4 of this year. That puts him about in the middle when compared with other Presidential golfers. It’s less than Bill Clinton, and a lot less than Dwight Eisenhower, who played more than 800 rounds over eight years. And why is it an outrage if the President, who heads one of three branches of government, golf’s 104 times in three-and-a-half-years, but the head of another branch of government, the Speaker of the House, John Boehner told Golf Digest that he plays upwards of 100 rounds a year. Now that’s not a double standard, no way!
Third; President Obama shows his true colors by not going to Arlington National Cemetery. Sadly, the days we set aside to honor those who have worn the uniform of our country and made the ultimate sacrifice have become highly politicized. There is an expectation that Presidents should go to Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial and Veterans Day. Certainly, any Commander-in-Chief should mark these sacred days in such fashion. But paying tribute to those whose final resting place is in any other of America’s other 130 National Cemeteries are no less honorable. The tradition of going to Arlington itself on Memorial Day is fairly new. Most presidents never, or rarely, went. Let’s look at the past six decades: Eisenhower: Twice in eight years, Kennedy: Never in three years, Johnson: Once in five years, Nixon: Never in six years, Ford: Twice in two years, Carter: Never in four years, Reagan: Three times in eight years, Bush Sr.: Never in four years, Clinton: Eight times in eight year, Bush Jr.: Seven times in eight years, Obama: Three times in four years.
President’s Bush Jr. and Obama really have perfect records. The one year Bush wasn’t at Arlington he was at Normandy, honoring the heroes of D-Day. The one year Obama wasn’t at Arlington he was at a National Cemetery in Illinois, where the heroes who rest in peace there are no less deserving of our respect than those who rest in Arlington.
Fourth; Taxes under President Obama at all-time high. If you buy this one, congratulations: You’ve failed not just history, but economics as well. Between the combined burden of federal, state, and local income taxes, Americans are parting with the smallest share of their income since 1958. The Bureau of Economic Analysis says we pay 23.6 percent of what we make, down from an average of about 27 percent during the 1970’s, 1980’s, and 1990’s.
Fifth; President Obama is not a citizen, is a phenomenon that began during the 2008 US Presidential campaign as an attempt to discredit Senator Barack Obama by claiming that he was not born in the United States or that his father was not a US citizen at the time of his birth, and that being born in the US is a requirement for being elected President. This bogus suspicion was initially spread by bitter Senator Hillary Clinton supporters and the usual far right conspiracy theorists. Despite extremely strong evidence that it is outright wrong, and its failure to succeed in any legal challenge, the idea has gone main stream. Leading this effort no other than Donald Trump, who we all know has given more to this country in time and money, than, well what else needs to be said.
Sixth; And now the most frightening of all: President Barack Obama is the Antichrist!
There are at least two inherent flaws with this.
First, many seek to demonize those with whom they disagree politically. Calling a man the Antichrist is essentially declaring him to be Satan incarnate. Some on the far right were convinced that President Bill Clinton was the Antichrist. Some who hold to far left political views were convinced that President George Bush was the Antichrist. Now, those who disagree with the political views of President Barack Obama are throwing the Antichrist label at him as well. This political demonetization is ridiculous, as the biblical indicators of who is the Antichrist have nothing to do with conservative or progressive politics.
Second, Christians in the United States tend to forget that the end times revolve around the nation of Israel, not the United States. The Bible nowhere explicitly prophesies the existence of the United States. While the United States may have a role in the end times and/or with the Antichrist, it is just as possible that the United States will not even exist in the end times.
The misinformation being spread around that makes non-biblical statements about the Antichrist, attempting to create links with President Barack Obama. The most common states that the Antichrist will be a man of Muslim/Arab descent, in his 40’s, and will rule for 42 months (about the length of a U.S. Presidency). The Bible nowhere says anything about the ethnicity, religion, or age of the Antichrist.
So finally; What is it that really has some in this country so upset about President Obama? As hard as it is to say, it’s may even be harder for some to hear, but in my opinion it is because it gives an acceptable outlet for racist impulses: its a few short steps from “he’s black” to “he’s not one of us” to “he’s not really an American.” One can only hope in this day and age that it is not so, but when you hear people say, he takes more time off that any other president, he is always playing golf, he doesn’t visit Arlington, he is a Muslim, he’s not an American, he wasn’t born in America, he is the Antichrist, all which are ridiculous myths I can come to no other conclusion except that President Obama gets treated like this because he is black.