Presidents’ Day was originally established to honor the nation’s first president, George Washington, on or near his birthday, but for some time it has been an occasion to honor all presidents. For many Americans it is a day off of work, and for many more it is a time, like every holiday in America, to be bombarded with special sales. Instead of looking back at former presidents and either marveling at their achievements, or decrying the devastation they wrought on this country, it is worth taking stock of the current President for two specific reasons. First, what Barack Obama accomplished that will cement his place in history as one of the country’s greatest Presidents, including his greatest accomplishment of all. And second, to challenge the President’s detractors on just a sampling of the mountain of lies they have spouted since before Obama was even inaugurated and continue unabated.
Conservatives, in their various iterations, have accused the President of committing all manner of slights against the American people and garnered support as well as legitimacy among their racist supporters because they are inherently ignorant and suspicious of people of color. They also depend on the preponderance of stupidity and willful suspension of disbelief at bizarre assertions among a certain segment of the population to perpetuate the mountain of lies about the President. Without the overwhelming stupidity and fear of “the other” rampant among conservatives, racists, and religious fundamentalists, any one of the lies about the President would be dead before they left a Republicans’ lying mouth.
For example, Republicans have spent over six years claiming that Barack Obama is coming for Americans’ guns, and yet there has been no gun safety legislation passed or absurd “gun confiscations” during the President’s tenure in the White House. In fact the last gun control legislation was a ban on assault weapons 20 years ago in spite of a rash of mass shootings using assault weapons. Still, one sees myriad polls on websites sponsored by conservative groups and the NRA asking if Republicans should fight against Obama’s gun seizure crusade. These claims have not been reserved to the NRA and gun fanatics; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent out a letter during his campaign last year warning Kentucky voters that they need a strong Republican Senate because Obama was coming for their guns. It has been a six year accusation and it is time for Republicans, the NRA, and seditious teabaggers to prove the assault on the 2nd Amendment or shut down the lies.
Another common charge is that the President has eviscerated the U.S. Constitution and yet, Republicans cannot produce one shred of evidence backing up their claim. Oh it is true that nearly everything Obama does brings the usual charge that he is violating the Constitution, particularly in issuing executive orders every one of his white Republican predecessors issued. As a matter of fact, right now Republicans are threatening to endanger American lives and shut down the Department of Homeland Security because John Boehner and Ted Cruz claim the President’s executive action on immigration enforcement is ‘unconstitutional.’ However, according to the Roberts conservative Supreme Court, the President’s actions are perfectly constitutional; and that ruling is without citing the precedent set by every Republican president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Republicans claim this President is hostile to the nation where their true loyalty lies, Israel, and yet he has given more of American taxpayers’ money to support Israeli warmongering than any other president; Republican or Democrat. It is true that Obama has not appointed Benjamin Netanyahu to his war department, or obeyed the Israeli prime minister’s orders to declare war on Iran like George W. Bush did in invading and occupying Iraq, but that is not hostility towards Israel. That is not allowing a foreigner to dictate American war or Middle East policy; something most Americans would consider being a strong American President.
The religious right, and their Republican facilitators, has spent the past six years claiming President Obama is waging war on and persecuting Christians. Many of the seriously fanatical evangelicals claim the President is ready to begin burning down churches and imprisoning Christians in FEMA concentration camps any day. It is true the President has not shred the Constitution and declared that America is a Christian theocracy, and he did state that the right to use birth control belongs to a woman, and not evangelical extremists, but that is not persecuting Christians; it is upholding the Constitution. It is time for the religious right to prove how this President persecutes them by adhering to his oath of office to support and defend the constitution; or shut their lying evangelical mouths forthwith.
Those are just a sampling of the Republican accusations against Barack Obama that have no basis in fact, and do not include that he is not an American, supports Islamic terrorists, is imposing Sharia Law on the nation, and “treading on Americans’ freedoms and liberties.” Add in taxing people into poverty and spending like there is no tomorrow and one gets the picture; Republicans are rank liars and frankly state precisely the opposite of any and everything this President represents or has accomplished in the face of unrelenting Republican attempts to sabotage his Presidency and America.
The President’s achievements and accomplishments are too numerous to mention, and frankly are cited daily as the economy improves, America stays out of wars, and the nation’s reputation recovers around the world. There is one accomplishment that, although notable, is not something the President is likely proud of but cannot be ignored; he has exposed conservatives in general, and Republicans in particular, as racists, enemies of the people, and un-American.
It is likely that at no time in American history, except for the Civil War, has there been a concerted effort by one faction of Americans to decimate the economy and work tirelessly for the government’s failure and demise; all because Americans elected an African American man as their President. The President’s contribution in exposing the fascist un-American efforts by Republicans is that he has stayed the course with grace and dignity despite an overwhelming and concerted effort to destroy his Presidency. In fact, although Republicans did not say, like the filthy Rush Limbaugh, that they hope the President fails, they have made every effort to see Limbaugh’s hopes come to fruition.
Whether they met in private to plot against Obama’s effort to save the economy, tried to destroy the full faith and credit of the United States, kill millions of Americans’ jobs, or withhold funding for diplomatic security around the world, Republicans have shown their true nature and it is contrary to what any sane American would call patriotic. Through it all, this President wrongly asserted that “Republicans are patriots; they just have a different idea about how to govern.” Nice words, but untrue and the President probably knows that sad fact.
No American patriot, regardless their political affiliation, deliberately and with malice aforethought, attempts to harm this country or its people, or conspires with foreign governments and agents to push Americans into a war of convenience or destroy its precious environment and endanger the health of its people. On this Presidents’ Day, one hopes that the current President continues asserting his agenda for Americans and finds the fortitude to tell the American people what many already know; Republicans are not patriots, they do not love America, and have nothing but contempt for its people. If President Obama would do that, he will go down as the one of nation’s greatest Presidents for, if nothing else, identifying this country’s real enemy.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.