January 19, 2017

Saying Goodbye to Obama

I rarely cry, as I consider such displays unseemly. (Also, crying makes my nose leak sadness-juice.)

But when Barack Obama won his first term, I wept tears of joy. I did so again when he was inaugurated, and when he won his second term. Barack Obama is the best president —by far— that I’ve seen in my lifetime.

(My credentials: I read a wide variety of news sources, I have a Master’s in history, and my ideas on foreign and domestic policies are among the most cogent you’ll find within a 10-foot radius of my office. So my credibility on this matter is, ahem, "unimpeachable.")

I didn’t have the heart to read this piece by David Remnick about Obama until this week. It’s worth your time; in the following passage, Remnick describes listening to Obama give a campaign speech for Clinton at Fayetteville State University (NC):
I was standing to the side of the stage. Nearby, a stout older man appeared in the aisle, dressed in a worn, beribboned military uniform and holding a Trump sign. People spotted him quickly and the jeering began. Then came the chant “Hil-la-ry! Hil-la-ry!” 
Obama picked up the curdled vibe and located its source. “Hold up!” he said. “Hold up!” 
The crowd would not quiet down. He repeated the phrase—“Hold up!”—sixteen more times, and still nothing. It took a long, disturbing while before he could recapture the crowd’s attention and get people to lay off the old man. What followed was a lecture in political civility. 
“I’m serious, listen up,” he said. “You’ve got an older gentleman who is supporting his candidate. . . . This is what I mean about folks not being focussed. First of all, we live in a country that respects free speech. Second of all, it looks like maybe he might have served in our military, and we’ve got to respect that. Third of all, he was elderly, and we’ve got to respect our elders. . . . Now, I want you to pay attention. Because if we don’t, if we lose focus, we could have problems.” 
That night in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Trump informed his supporters that in Fayetteville Obama had been abusive to the protester: “He spent so much time screaming at this protester and, frankly, it was a disgrace.” 
Either Trump was retailing an account he’d found online in the alt-right media or he was knowingly lying. In other words, Trump was Trump.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Be cool," says Google+. Isn't that exactly the sort of phrase that Obama would have used under such circumstances!