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Archive for March, 2009

Obama Goes From Antichrist to Messiah, then Starts the Journey Back Again

During his successful bid for the presidency of the United States, Barack Obama was seen in some quarters of the internet as the Antichrist. Blogs and articles popped up vilifying him as the single most evil threat to the peace and security of all good Christians everywhere, particularly those who live in the land of God’s chosen Christians, America.

On the day of his election, the United States launched itself into an orgy of celebration. Obama was viewed, if you believe the media, as the last great hope to save the nation from itself. Between the election and his inauguration as the forty-fourth president of the United States, the American public seemed to elevate the President-elect to the status of New Messiah. Somehow, it seemed as though every American fell into the trap of believing that in the moment that Obama was sworn into office, all of America’s troubles and problems would somehow simply vanish, and the country would magically become the Garden of Eden of the twenty-first century.

Barack Obama is now, as of the day that I write this, beginning his fifty-first day as President of the United States. As hard as it may be to believe, the country has not experienced some magical transformation into the new Shangri-La. Things have, in fact, continued on a downward spiral, particularly in terms of the national and global economy. And Barack Obama, the man upon whom all hope for our nation rested just a few short months ago, now finds himself the target of blame for the fact that things have not miraculously changed for the better in the span of his still very young presidency.

On one level, Barack Obama is, in a nutshell, a politician. This is something that both his supporters and his critics seem to forget. And politics is a “dual occupation,” being both a science and an art. The art of being a politician comes in the form of an ability to compromise with ones’ opponents, to offer them a way to feel as though they have won something for what they, on their side of a given issue, have given up. We seem to have forgotten that by profession, Obama is a politician, and he comes wrapped up in everything which that profession implies.

What we also seem to forget, though, is that just like every other politician, Obama is first and foremost just a man. He is not the Antichrist, he is not the Messiah, and he is not the savior of all mankind. He is a man, a human being with all of the faults and flaws that are innate to every human being. Just like George W. Bush before him, Obama must make do with is own intelligence, his own opinions, his own beliefs. Unlike his immediate predecessor, he has the advantage of possessing all three of those qualities. That in itself gives him at least a chance at making some much needed improvements here, and around the world.

As the President of the United States, Barack Obama must be held to a higher standard than many of the people around him. He is, after all, the leader of what is arguably still the most powerful nation on this planet. Every president – indeed, every politician in any given office – should be held to a “higher standard.” Unfortunately, just fifty-one days into his presidency, we seem to be setting that standard to a height which is utterly unreachable, even for a Messiah. Having failed, utterly and miserably, to hold George W. Bush to any kind of high standards whatsoever, the political right now seems to be engaged in an attempt to hold Obama to standards that Jesus Christ himself would be incapable of meeting.

I supported Obama during his campaign. I voted for him. I still support him, even though I disagree with some of his proposals and ideas. I think it’s only fair that we give the man more than fifty-one days to prove himself.

After all, we gave his predecessor eight years of continuing, abysmal failure before we put him on record as being possibly the worst president the nation has ever seen. Well, most of us did; some of us were just along for the ride because we had no choice in the matter.

So, come on, people, please. At least afford Obama the same time frame to succeed or fail that you afforded to Bush. You might even find yourselves pleasantly surprised.

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